Xbox’s head of programming Mike Ybarra claims that one of his goals is to allow 64-player parties through Xbox Live services on both PC and Xbox One systems.
The most recent Xbox Live update not only made it possible for users to purchase backward compatible Xbox 360 games directly through the Xbox One, it also increased the possible number of players in a party to 16. According to Mike Ybarra, the head of programming at Xbox, the total number of gamers allowed in a single Xbox Live party could become much larger in future updates for the service.
As explained by Ybarra:
“It was eight six months ago, then we went to 12, now we’re at 16. I’d love to get that to 64 because that’ll get Battlefield and games like that which do 64 vs. 64…have at it! Now, I don’t want to be in a party of 64, but that’s a different problem!”
Ybarra hopes to achieve this lofty goal not only for those playing games like Battlefield 4 or the next Battlefield game on Xbox, but for those playing games on PC as well. As some may have noticed, Microsoft has recently been making an aggressive push to assert itself in the PC gaming market, which has included moves such as porting its Xbox One exclusives to the platform, in addition to allowing Xbox One gamers play online with PC gamers.
Ybarra believes increasing the number of people allowed in a single Xbox Live party could benefit players on PC that aren’t even playing Microsoft games. Apparently, people use the Xbox app on PC to take advantage of the free party chat capabilities when doing things like raiding in World of Warcraft, and so Ybarra believes that increasing the limit on people allowed in a single Xbox Live party could prove useful to a lot more than just the Microsoft faithful.
Overall, it seems like Microsoft is making a major effort to increase the general functionality of Xbox Live services. Whether or not many players will take advantage of 64-player parties, some will still appreciate having it as an option just in case. Now, whether or not Microsoft accomplishes this in a future update remains to be seen, but past Xbox Live updates have been quite extensive, so there’s little reason to be believe that Microsoft is not capable of such a feat.
If Microsoft is able to increase the number of players allowed in an Xbox Live party to 64, would you take advantage of such a feature? Are you currently taking advantage of the 16 players allowed in current Xbox Live parties? Do you ever use Xbox Live party chat when playing games that aren’t related to Xbox or Xbox Live? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.