We’ve known for a few months now that the sublime Killer Instinct is coming to Steam at some point in the (hopefully) near future. That’s just become a whole lot more exciting, as cross-play between it and the Xbox One and Windows Store will be supported.
In a post on the official Killer Instinct forums, community manager Rukari Austin has unveiled that Iron Galaxy is now beginning the testing for play between the already-released, and already cross-play supported Xbox One and Windows Store editions and the upcoming Steam edition.
“Yes, this is your confirmation that Killer Instinct players on Xbox One or Windows 10 will be able to play cross-network with players on Steam, as well, and we’re super excited to be able to bring that feature to you when KI launches on Steam in the coming weeks.
There is one small caveat, though. We will be testing this feature, making sure all the kinks are worked out (as best as we can) in a live environment. What that means for you is that you will see the option for cross play in your menus, but then there will be times where that menu item is turned off, and seemingly missing. Never fear, that is simply us working on things in the background, and your experience will not be affected as we do our work.”
While you could reduce this story to “one PC platform can now cross-play with another PC platform… and also console”, this is actually a bit bigger than it sounds. Killer Instinct currently requires you to use a Microsoft account and associated gamertag, whereas the Steam edition more than likely won’t.
More importantly, Killer Instinct is kind of old now. It was an Xbox One launch title, and since then plenty of other fighters have come and gone. Having a potentially huge injection of Steam players, who have been waiting for the PC version to ditch Windows 10 exclusivity, to the matchmaking pool benefits literally everyone.
We’re still awaiting a release date, but it’ll be interesting to see how this all comes together when Killer Instinct hits Steam.