A common thread in Microsoft’s E3 2016 press conference was the idea that Microsoft is looking to unify Xbox and PC. One way this unification will be accomplished is by allowing crossplay between Xbox One and Windows 10, and as announced at E3 2016, the blockbuster game Gears of War 4 will support crossplay.
In Gears of War 4, crossplay will extend across all of its different game modes, including campaign co-op, competitive multiplayer, and the newly announced Horde 3.0. For the uninitiated, this means that Xbox One players can play Gears of War 4 with someone playing it on PC and vice versa, which should help the game build an even larger community of players.
Keeping with the theme of unity between Xbox One and Windows 10, it was also announced during the show that those that purchase Gears of War 4 digitally will be able to play the game on PC for no additional charge thanks to the Xbox Play Anywhere program. So, in theory, someone can buy the Xbox One version of Gears of War 4, play it on console, and then have a friend over to play co-op on their PC. Of course, split-screen co-op will also be featured in Gears of War 4 for one’s local multiplayer needs, but it’s always nice to have more options.
Crossplay between Xbox One and PC has been an often-requested feature by fans, but bringing Xbox One’s major exclusive games to PC could have undesired results for Microsoft. For example, if gamers are able to play Xbox’s biggest games on PC, then why bother purchasing an Xbox One to begin with?
The opposite effect could be true as well. Perhaps the addition of crossplay to Gears of War 4 will actually improve the game’s sales on Xbox One, and maybe some gamers will view crossplay between the platforms as a reason to buy the console. The latter is probably what Microsoft is counting on, and to the company’s credit, the announcement of crossplay seems to have been met with enthusiasm by Xbox fans.
Between the confirmation of crossplay and the Marcus Fenix teaser, Microsoft’s E3 2016 press conference seemed tailored for fans of the Gears of War franchise. And with Gears of War set to launch in just a few months, fans can look forward to full reveals of its various game modes, including Horde 3.0, in the coming weeks. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see if Gears of War 4‘s launch is more successful on PC or Xbox One come launch day, and how the addition of crossplay will influence sales, if at all.
Gears of War 4 will be available on October 11th for Xbox One and PC.