Steam Xbox One cross-play tools hinted in beta source code

Xbox One S
Xbox One S (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

Talk of cross-platform multiplayer continues to grow, following a surge in support throughout 2018. While Microsoft and Nintendo were among those at the forefront of efforts, we've recently seen Sony change stance, gaining heightened traction across PC, console, and mobile. It's still far from the norm but becoming increasingly attractive amid pressure to drop long-established barriers.

A recent update to Steam's beta now hints at deeper cross-platform integration, with source code directly committing to Xbox-related networking features. As posted to ResetEra, new additions to the Steam Beta GitHub repository seemingly refer to Xbox Live identifiers.

Cross-play has been achievable between Steam and Xbox Live titles for some time, with Killer Instinct and Rise of Nations among existing examples. However, these source code changes indicate deeper, standardized integration via Valve's Steamworks developer toolset. Further easing the process for cross-play implementation, an open-source approach could encourage a wider pool of developers to bridge the gap.

Without official mention of such integration from Valve, take this concept lightly. However, with cross-play on the rise, such a prospect could prove beneficial to both Xbox One and PC gamers. We also see similar interest from Epic Games, recently committing to open Fortnite's underlying cross-play technology to developers for free. As always, be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.