Xbox One to feature cross-platform functionality?
Could the Xbox One play nicely with the PC, allowing cross-platform multiplayer games? Possibly...
Talking to Australian gaming site, AusGamers, Microsoft Studios vice president, Phil Spencer, has commented on the possibility of the Xbox One being cross-platform, allowing gamers to play games between the console and a Windows 8 PC.
When asked about the possible feature, Spencer simply said "I'm not allowed to leak things, but I think what you're talking about makes a lot of sense."
He then mentioned past attempts to facilitate this kind of functionality with the Xbox 360, including the awful ShadowRun FPS. He also talked about other efforts, like Skulls of the Shogun, and the features Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo 4 shared.
"Then earlier this year we released Skulls of the Shogun, which was a game we launched on all three platforms on the same day, and you could start on one platform and then save the game to the Cloud and play across any of the screens and progress. And then Halo: Spartan Assault has some links between Halo 4 and Spartan Assault, even though they're very different games."
Spencer also stated his belief that cross-platform is very important for hardware manufacturers, and that online interaction makes it a key feature.
"This connected ecosystem across all the different devices is definitely where I think the future of gaming is going; you don't have to do it as a developer, but you have the capability and I think a system like Xbox Live across all those screens where you know who someone is and who their friends are, what their Achievements are and their progression is really critical to that."
Spencer certainly didn't confirm whether or not the Xbox One will feature cross-platform for the PC, but as Microsoft is clearly trying to tie together all of its platforms and systems, it wouldn't be all that surprising to see PC and Xbox One games coexist in some form, even if it's only to communicate with other players and share achievement info and facilitate leaderboards. And let's not forget Project Spark, which is already confirmed to be cross-platform, with the ability to share created content.
The differences in control methods makes this cross-platform functionality challenging, and anyone who's played titles that have attempted this in the past, such as ShadowRun, or even the Dreamcast's version of Quake III Arena, will know that keyboard and mouse almost always trumps a gamepad, and even though the Xbox One will be able to use keyboard and mouse inputs, most will still use the Xbox One controller.
Still, cross-platform play would be a big feather in the Xbox One's cap, especially with such games as Titanfall being Microsoft exclusive, and arriving n PC as well as the new box.
The Xbox One will be released on November 22.
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