As we already knew, developer Respawn's free-to-play battle royale effort Apex Legends is getting cross-play support; as we didn't already know, Apex Legends is getting cross-play support next Tuesday, 6th October.
Cross-play will enable Apex Legends players across PS4, Xbox One, and PC to either buddy up or battle it out against one another, and to connect with acquaintances on other platforms, players can search usernames and send friend requests via Apex Legends' in-game friend list. The receiving party will see a lobby notification they can either accept, reject, or block.
Once you've amassed a suitable collection of cross-platforms pals, you can send party invites via the friend menu; cross-platform invite notifications will appear in the lobby, while same-platform invites will continue to make use of the platform's default notifications system. Respawn notes that voice chat will work between platforms too.
To avoid giving mouse-and-keyboard players an unfair advantage, Respawn says matchmaking will keep console and PC players in separate pools. However, if friends want to team up between console and PC, everyone will be placed into the PC pool. It's also possible to disable cross-platform support entirely, although those that do may find themselves in extremely long queues as the game attempts to pair them up with other cross-platform shirkers.
Respawn says it considers the initial launch version of cross-play to be a "beta", and will be collecting data, testing features, and gathering community feedback for as long as that label remains. It also stresses that cross-play "does not mean cross-progression", but says it considers the latter to be a "valuable feature", and will be discussing it in more detail when Apex Legends comes to Steam later this year.
In other Apex Legends news, next week's update will also introduce a new limited-time mode known as Flashpoint. Here, healing items are removed entirely, replaced instead by Flash Points - massive zones dotted around towns in Kings Canyon where players can gradually regenerate their health and shields. Inevitably, says Respawn, these become focal points for "massive multi-squad fights that bring the feeling of a team deathmatch to Apex Legends".
Additionally, the circle never stops closing, and will always home in on a Flash Point, "making that final fight even more exciting". More info on Flashpoint mode and its accompanying limited-time cosmetics can be found in Respawn's latest blog post.