Overwatch cross-play will “soon” become a reality globally across all of the game’s platforms, including Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, as announced by the Blizzard website and Game Director Aaron Keller in a video. All console players will need to create a Battle.net account in order to enable cross-play, while PC players can just continue playing as normally and wait for the influx of new players. Cross-progression will not be supported at launch, but the development team intends to add it in the future.
Players of the Competitive mode need not get overly worried about cross-play in Overwatch, as Keller emphasized that console players will play against other console players and PC players will play against other PC players. For explicit examples and details of how this will work, you can read Blizzard’s FAQ or listen to Keller’s full explanation. But the bottom line is that Blizzard is maintaining fairness in the competitive scene with Overwatch cross-play.
If you’re a lapsed Overwatch player and would like some added incentive to hop back into the game, Blizzard has you covered there too, explaining, “With the launch of Cross-Play, everyone who logs in to Overwatch by the end of 2021 will receive a Golden Loot Box to celebrate.”
Overwatch originally launched in 2016 and came to Nintendo Switch in 2019. It’s notable that a game this popular took so long to implement cross-play.