It's a debate as old as video games themselves. Which is best? Mouse and keyboard or controller? Gamers have argued for years over the answer. Well, it looks like Gears of War 4 players will actually find out.
Gears of War 4 has had crossplay support in its social playlists for a while, letting Windows 10 players play with Xbox One players. But there's nothing on the line in social. No true competitive edge.
One of the problems with restricting crossplay to social is there aren't many PC core and competitive players looking for matches. Perhaps it's a sign that the PC version doesn't have much of a playerbase to work with. Perhaps it's a sign that what playerbase there is plays on social because that's where they'll most likely find games. Whatever the case, developer Coalition has put together an upcoming update designed to make getting ranked matches on PC more likely, and it involves pitting core and competitive PC players against Xbox One players.
Crossplay in ranked play means Xbox and PC players can play alongside each other and compete for ranks in any core and competitive playlist. It's not something that's live in the game yet, but it is coming soon.
The obvious question this move sparks is one of platform-specific competitive edge. PC players, of course, can use mouse and keyboard, whereas Xbox One players are restricted to the controller. Xbox One players who enjoy ranked play won't be thrilled about the prospect of going up against players who can benefit from the precision afforded by a mouse and keyboard.
And then there's the potential issue of cheating, which is more prevalent on PC than it is on console. I imagine console players won't relish the prospect of being thrust into a match that's got a higher chance of featuring aimbots and hacks.
Preempting questions around this issue, The Coalition said later this year it will add a new Ranked Crossplay toggle for Xbox One players. This means they will have the choice of playing with or without Windows 10 players in core or competitive playlists. But it's worth noting Social, Competitive Warm Up and Special Events will always be Crossplay enabled regardless. This toggle will not be available on Windows 10, The Coalition said, "As we want to make sure Windows 10 players can experience any Ranked Playlist."
There's no set date for this feature yet, but The Coalition said to expect it in the months to come. It'll be interesting to watch how matches play out when it's live.