Aaron Keller released a developer update for Overwatch announcing the beta-test for cross-play between PC and consoles. Under the new system, players would be able to partner up with friends across platforms for quickplay matches. The new system will not apply to competitive matches and players who are not partnering.
"You will be able to play with your friends across all platforms, Xbox, Playstation, PC, and Nintendo Switch," explained Keller. "Cross progression will not be available at launch. We understand this feature is important for some of you, and it something we are excited to work on in the future. Console players will need to create and link a Battle.net account to participate in Crossplay."
He also specified, "by default, a party of console players will play with other console players. A party of PC players will be default play with PC players, as well as groups that include both PC and console players. Please note, this does not include competitive play. For competitive play specifically, you will not be able to play in a party consisting of PC and console players together."
Overwatch community reacts to cross-play announcement
Cross-play is a highly requested feature throughout the Overwatch community. As a result, the response to the news was unsurprisingly positive from most Overwatch influencers and personalities.
Overwatch League commentator and esports personality Josh "Sideshow" Wilkinson said, "This is HUGE for Overwatch. There are two major keys to making the game bigger: crossplay and free-to-play. Can't wait to hit up some quick play with my little brother who plays on Switch!"
Former Content Creator for Florida Mayhem Sam "Samito" Dawahare offered a similar take, saying, "Cross platform coming to Overwatch is the first big move to get back to dominating the space. Hopefully, this is one of many changes the OW team will make to catch up to the rest of the industry, love the innovation. The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place for OW2's success."
Current FL Mayhem streamer Christopher "Jay3" Pavlov also supported the new cross-play system, saying, "Cross-Play for Overwatch is huge and I've been saying this for years. Next best thing is free-to-play! But yea... You switch players stay out of my comp games..."
Stylosa, best known for his Unit Lost Overwatch YouTube channel, highlighted how cool it was that different consoles will be able to play competitive together.
"Cross-Play is coming to Overwatch!" Stylosa said excitedly. "Console players can play ranked together (this is a HUGE update) - However, console players cannot play competitive with PC players! All platforms can play together in non-competitive modes!"
Overwatch League professional player Dante "Dante" Cruz was particularly excited because he runs a controller Thursday series, where he plays Overwatch with a controller. He joked that "controller Thursday is now controller everyday."
Overwatch pro Kai "Kai" Collins chimed in with a light-hearted joke about aim-assist, saying, "controller aim assist gods are taking over OWL ggs."
Shock put their own joke, demanding the Switch players rise up!
Perhaps the simplest response of the day came from Fran, who just said "HUGE."
While there were a few questioning whether cross-play could ruin their PC quickplay matches, the vast majority of responses from influencers and fans alike were very positive. People are excited to play Overwatch with their friends on other platforms!
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.