It’s a permanent change
Cross-platform play is a tricky prospect for any competitive multiplayer game. Different platforms have their inherent advantages, and that’s hard to reconcile while maintaining a level playing field. For instance, mouse and keyboard is widely considered to be better for shooters than a gamepad controller.
Despite any disparity, Gears of War 4 is introducing cross-platform play between PC and Xbox One in ranked competitive matches. Gears developer The Coalition explains the decision in a post on the game’s site. It seems like a move made out of necessity, as PC players currently experience long waits to get into games.
Gears 4 has featured cross-play for a few months now, but only in social playlists. The Coalition says that its testing found closely-matched results in PC and Xbox players of similar skill levels. It’s seemingly enough for the developer to feel comfortable co-mingling the two platforms.
However, Xbox players can remain platform-independent if they choose. There will be a toggle on Xbox One that disables cross-play. That’s an easy way to shut down any perceived disadvantage. PC players won’t have that option, likely because of the relatively small active user base.
Permanent cross-platform competitive play isn’t ready yet. The Coalition hasn’t confirmed a date but says the feature will be implemented “in the months to come.” In the meantime, PC is getting a shakeup to its modes, as competitive warm-up is cross-play. That seems like an aptly titled playlist given the direction this is headed in the near future.
Windows 10 Ranked Play [Gears of War]