Five years after it launched, Overwatch is getting an update that adds a major feature long requested by fans: Cross-play — meaning that players on PC and console will finally be able to play with each other, though competitive matches will still be grouped into different matchmaking pools. We also aren’t getting cross-progression, but it’s been implied that we might be getting that at some point in the future.
Blizzard announced the update today and added that everyone will need to create a Battle.net account and link it to their console accounts. The update is coming to the game “soon,” and everyone who logs into Overwatch before the end of the year will receive a free Golden Loot Box. Note that there won’t be cross-progression, meaning you won’t share progress between platforms. Says the FAQ: “While cross-play will allow you to group up with friends using other systems, no progress and collection content will carry over between sessions on different systems.”
The cross-play FAQ does mention there are a few caveats to this new inclusiveness. Console and PC players will still be separate in matchmaking for competitive modes: “Competitive players will be split into two pools depending on the system that you are playing on: 1) Console players, and 2) PC players. For balance purposes, PC players and console players will not be mixed in the same pool for competitive matches.”
This also brings up the topic of whether the sequel, Overwatch 2, will have this feature. Having the feature introduced so late into the game’s life cycle means it’s likely the feature will be present in the sequel from launch. At the very least, it’s not likely to take five years to be added to the game. We won’t know any time soon, though, as we likely won’t see Overwatch 2 until late next year at the earliest.
Source: Play Overwatch