Console and PC gamers have been separated in their own gaming cyberspaces since a long time. Cross-platform play was a distant entity. However, developers are now slowly recognizing the need for cross-play modes in their games, with such modes available in major titles like Forza, Ark, etc. These had major focus on Xbox One and Windows 10 cross-play.
The Coalition, developers of Gears of War franchise, are planning to bring ranked cross-play to Gears of War 4, and hence unlock core and ranked gameplay to the huge Xbox and Windows player base as a single update patch.
Until now, only social playlists were open to cross-platform cooperative gameplay. But future patches would enable PC and Xbox players to go head-to-head in ranked competitive. The most likely reason for this, according to a post on the game’s website, seems to be the fact that PC players currently experience long wait times to get into coop games.
However, to remove any possibility of Windows players overwhelming Xbox players (due to easier control using mouse and keyboard), the developers have included a toggle option for the console player base. Xbox players would have an option whether to include PC gamers in their playlist search, or to remain in the console player pool. Players on Windows would not have any such option whatsoever.
It would surely be interesting to see how this plays out. Would the ranked matches be as good between different input devices, or does the game suffer the same fate as Overwatch, forcing console players to use input conversion devices to play head-on with their Windows counterparts? We would have to wait until the later part of 2017, to find out.
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