Could Cross Network Gaming Between Xbox, PS4 & PC be a reality soon?

Gaming Between Xbox, PS4 & PC

If you haven’t heard already Microsoft announced a huge new feature this week which blew the whole of the gaming community’s mind, and that was the release of cross-network play. Firstly what is cross-network play? Well it’s something that been hinted for years and is essentially the ability for Xbox One, PS4 and PC gamers to play the same games together online, and the reason it blew our mind was it came completely out the blue. Going into more detail what the feature will do on Microsoft’s end is simply open up the Xbox Live network to accept matchmaking with players from other networks like PS4 or PC.

However as you might have guessed it there is a problem and that is it needs support from rival companies for it to work. Currently developers who build games for Xbox One and Windows 10 will be able to support the cross-network play feature without any issues. However for cross-network play to work Microsoft will require Sony and the PC gaming industry to get involved and participate in order for games to be played across Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Basically you could say what Microsoft have done is showed there hand, and put the ball of cross-network play in the hands of rival console makers and the PC industry in order to start the conversation and see where they stand, why? Simply everyone involved will have to cooperate for cross-network play to become a reality.

At this point you’re probably thinking Sony and the PC industry will most likely want no involvement in this at all, however you would be wrong as most of the parties involved have allowed for cross-network play on various games for some time now like Final Fantasy XIV. What’s more since this news from Microsoft was announced Sony have made a response and stated "PlayStation has been supporting cross-platform play between PC on several software titles starting with Final Fantasy 11 on PS2 and PC back in 2002.” What’s more and more importantly they state “We would be happy to have the conversation with any publishers or developers who are interested in cross platform play." To me the response from Sony shows there’s a definite interest in cross-network play and there willing to listen to developers who want it also, it’s just they didn’t state they would want to work with Microsoft.

Going back to what Microsoft are doing and their involvement in cross-network play the first title that will be supporting the new feature will be Rocket League, but were going to have to wait till E3 in June to find out about others that will follow suit. What’s more the only other thing were hearing from Microsoft on the feature is again there’s an open invitation for other networks to participate in cross network play as well, which to me hints others will lend their support to it in the future.

Finally if rival console makers and other developers do get involved and get behind Microsoft's support for cross-network play then it will change the shape of gaming industry completely, as simply gamers won’t be restricted on who they can play. More importantly from now on gamers won’t need to pick a console or a PC based on what their friends have, as cross-network play would enable gamers to play their friends regardless of whatever device they're using.

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Connecting the Kinect- The Xbox One Declassified!

Microsoft have revealed their next generation gaming console named “Xbox One” at REDMOND, Washington on Tuesday. The Xbox one comes with a tagline “all in one home entertainment system”. The Xbox 360 has now: since many years become a family entertainer and Microsoft is all set to bring the legacy to its successor--the Xbox One. During the launch event, the new device was shown switching between watching live TV, listening to music and browsing the Internet, as well as simultaneously running apps through voice commands. The new console also recognizes gesture commands to be controlled by the hands, and comes with Skype video calling.

The power packed system delivers 8 times the graphic performance than its predecessor. It includes 8 gigs of ram, an 8-Core CPU, a 500GB hard drive, a Blu-ray drive that processes 4k resolution, HDMI in and out ports, USB 3.0, 802.11n wireless with Wi-Fi Direct. Now where is the GPU? Xbox one features a single 40 nanometer chip that contains both the CPU and GPU. But still, the Xbox one does not match up the sheer power derived by the gaming PC's.

Xbox Live Vice President Marc Whitten said that the new Xbox One will not be backward compatible which means you will not be able to run your xbox 360 games in the new xbox, a feature that PS4 wouldn't pack either. Microsoft’s UK marketing director Harvey Eagle relieved most gamers by confirming that the Xbox One doesn't require a constant internet connection whereas PS4 requires an internet connection as soon as you switch it on.

Now for the most interesting part, during the Xbox reveal event, 15 new games have been confirmed for the Xbox one and out of which 8 are totally new franchises. Destiny, Battlefield 4, Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, FIFA Soccer 14, Madden 25, NBA live 14, Quantum Break, UFC and Forza Motorsport 5 have been confirmed for Xbox One.

The design of the console looks more like an old school VCR and is not as much appealing as the controller. The controller is elegant but Microsoft could have done a lot better with the design of the console. On the back, the machine includes the power plug, HDMI in and out, two USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet port, Kinect Auxiliary port and an optical audio out.

The kinect this time comes with a 1080P camera that enlarges the area it senses by around 60 percent. The camera captures video at whooping 60 frames per second for applications like skype. This new kinect senses even the slightest movement of your hand or shoulder. Harvey Eagle also said that the Xbox one will not function without the kinect connected. The kinect is said to hold the mic and does the entire job for you. Step into your room; say “Xbox on” and it turns up your Xbox for you. You can switch between tasks at the blink of the eye. Bored of playing the same game? Say the word “music” and your Xbox plays the music for you. Want to watch television? Just say the word, and the xbox does the needful.

Microsoft will launch the Xbox one “later this year” all over the world at an unannounced price.