Even Microsoft Thinks Cross-Platform Multiplayer 'Makes Sense'

Even Microsoft Thinks Cross-Platform Multiplayer

One of the biggest failures of Microsoft's involvement in the PC space has been its treatment of gaming relative to the Xbox brand. Halo came late then stopped coming. Gears of War and Forza have never gone PC.

So you'd be forgiven for assuming that Microsoft has given up entirely on the idea of gamers on a PC and Xbox playing together. But, surprisingly, it has not.

Pointing to both previous failures (Shadowrun) and current small-scale examples (Skulls of the Shogun), Microsoft's Phil Spencer has told AusGamers that the idea of PC and Xbox One gamers competing against each other online "makes a lot of sense".

"I'm not allowed to leak things [smiles]", he said. "But I think what you're talking about makes a lot of sense."

He later adds, "[A] 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."

Microsoft's Phil Spencer Talks Xbox One: Cross-Platform, Indies, Subscriptions and Much More [AusGamers, via PC Gamer]


    Correction, Gears of War 1 was on PC. You may proceed.

    Shadowrun is cross platform.....and it worked fine as far as i could tell

      Worked OK, just wasn't a great game.

        I think the game failed becouse it didnt meet the law of the shadow run universe and there was a huge outcry.....but the technical side of things it was good with no crossplatform issues. I played the game alot and was in a shadow run clan - mojo

    Gears of War 1 was on PC.

      Yeah. I think the problem was, to quote the pc gamers I know, 'The game just isnt as impressive on pc as it was on 360, the standards of pc are too high'. That said, I dont have a 360 and enjoyed Gears 1 on pc. I just dont think MS can lose more AAA exclusives to PC because they already have less than Nintendo and Sony. (The only reason I still dont have a 360 I'm afraid :/ I nearly got one for Allan Wake and then that came to pc..)

      That said I am a fan of the middle section of timed exclusivity, yes we have to wait for it on PC, but then they can have their exclusive for a while too, like GTA on console. By the time it comes out on PC a lot of people are ready for a replay.

        Ummmm Microsoft has waaaaay more AAA titles in their stable then Sony fool? Especially good ones look At their launch lineups and speaking post launch... Sony can't even hold onto kingdom hearts or metal gear haha what a joke!

    Makes sense for Microsoft to accept this. People who would normally get an Xbox but choose not to because most people are getting PS4 including their friends would be more inclined to get what they want.

    Project Spark is cross-play Windows 8 and Xbox.

    Current and next gen consoles, just like the PC and all operating systems are capable of taking to each other (not just in their generation. X360 can talk to a PS4 just as easily as a PS3 and XBone). The only thing preventing cross platform are the companies that produce the platform.

    GTA V should be cross platform. Would be nice to play online with the few who have it on 360..

      The few? most of my mates got it on Xbox 360 the ones that didn't are tight assess that can't afford Xbox live.... Oooh I hope they get ps4 so they can pay for inferior online play hahaha will Sony introduce friend codes now too because we all know they love copying Nintendo!
      My point is why play an online game on a sub par online service? Check your mouth before you comment

        I think he would know how many of his friends have it on xbox. If you have both consoles and your friends are getting it on PS then without cross play why wouldn't you get it on the same system.
        So your friendship group mostly went with xbox, that's great so your comment would probably be you would like to play with the few of your friends that got it on PS

    Xbox and PS need cross-platform multiplayer. It's simply ridiculous that games like GTA5 can't be played together. Other games, like racers, can come to the PC. However, as soon as mouse/kb becomes a viable control method, the idea shatters - PC will win every time.

      I would like to see some actual evidence on the matter, because I recall last year a reading about a tournament ( one of those lan party type huge expo's, can't find it now though) Where both pc and console gamers were competing against each other and there was no discernible difference.

      But on the other hand logic would indicate a top level pc player will smoke the best console player, but I've never seen it proven. There is only an insane amount of outrageously biased "opinions" on the matter.

      It would be interesting to see a proper "study" that would map the skill levels of players and then have them compete against the opposing machine to test how exactly they relate. Would we find that noob pc players get smoked by noob console gamers, but that the the better the pc player becomes, the further ahead they pull compared to console?. Would console players be better in any circumstances at all? or is the whole thing just pc eliteism, regardless of the result it would be nice if it was done.

        Well, here's the link I'm referencing: http://www.gamesradar.com/pc-gamers-destroyed-console-gamers-in-tests-says-voodoo-pc-founder/

        But, you can even take some marketing hype and extrapolate, if you really don't want to look at the facts. "We have reduced our deadzone on the joysticks" "Triggers give you more feel"

        The mouse and keyboard are devices with absolute precision that can't be matched by a 360 pad. I'm committing a logical fallacy here, but it really doesn't even need much facts for you to see it as truth. :\

          I think you should really reconsider what you believe a "fact" is.

          You are making a hypothesis on the FACT that a mouse is more precise. That doesn't automatically translate into better. I could also argue WASD is LESS precise than a joystick for movement, so given your logic that would put them on equal terms since positioning is key.

          Also since the article you linked is a RUMOUR about a rumour about a secret and the results of those secrets, its HARDLY a fact or anything even remotely considered as such.

          Last edited 17/10/13 8:53 am

      That might be the case if we are only talking about shooters. in other games such as racing, fighting and beat-em up style games a controller is superior.
      An laser based optical mouse has better precision than an analog thumbstick but it doesn't automatically make it a better device. More precise but not better for everything.
      As kingpotato says the controller gives better movement as wasd is either moving or not while the controller lets you move at a selected speed so positioning is better. However you 'win' in fps by shooting so the benefit of more accurate and quicker targeting is a greater benefit than precise positioning and variable movement speed.

    Half the problem with PC to console cross-platform multiplayer, especially in some genres like FPS games, is that the PC gamers will annihilate the console gamers, even if the PC gamer is pretty average and the console gamer is top tier. And I'm not making this up to try to sound like I'm a PC gamer master race snob or anything, this is backed up by facts: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/ms-killed-pc-xbox-cross-platform-play

    "Personally I wish it would have stayed the course. I've heard from reliable sources that during the development they brought together the best console gamers to play mediocre PC gamers at the same game... and guess what happened? They pitted console gamers with their 'console' controller, against PC gamers with their keyboard and mouse.

    "The console players got destroyed every time. So much so that it would be embarrassing to the Xbox team in general had Microsoft launched this initiative.

      Microsoft "reportedly"i.e speculation and rumours, that cropped up ages ago but was never confirmed as a real thing. Too this day I have yet to see any measure of proof conclusive or otherwise, (Though I do believe pc is better, i would argue a shit pc player would get smoked by a top tier console, contrary to your article.)

      I would also imagine that the game itself would have a large impact. A game that gets you killed in 1 shot is likely to be pc dominated even by a lesser skilled pc player. But a game more like Gears of war or halo where most of the time continous fire is needed to kill your opponent, in game skill factors in considerably more. Which would lessen any gap there may be or widen it depending on the game.

      I would also point out that recent rumours that Pc and XB1 are going to be competeing against each other and that if pc players still had this huge insurmountable advantage this wouldn't be happening.

      So i'd like actual evidence before I'd be that definitive.

      Last edited 16/10/13 3:39 pm

    Would be interesting to see a xbox / PC mixed LAN :)

    mind you ive always had issues with PC LANs....xbox is just so plug and play

      PC's are Plug and Play too... there's just a few more Plugs :P

        I dunno, hell of a lot of plugs at our last halo lan too actually lol


      Yeah, just like a MS Studios Halo game wouldn't work at all, at my latest game night?

    I call bullshit, MS don't want people to have other devices, they just want them to all have Xboxes.

      Well, they know everyone already HAS and are using those non-xbox devices... so they want us to install software on them which will let them behave like xboxes.

      Yeah okay so they make home pcs and the surface for nothing I suppose, when will dorks learn?

    Aaaaand the shoe drops... here.
    "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."Urrrgh. No, no, no, no. This is basically why they made GFWL. They want their 'experience' across those screens. They want to control more screens, not give us access to more places to jump into from our screens that we're perfectly happy with right now, thanks. They don't want us to run our games from Steam and just have Xbox players turn up on the server lists - they want us to use their front-end, like Origin.

    The big problem with Microsoft has always been their desire to control the user experience, rather than enable it or enhance it.

      "The big problem with Microsoft has always been their desire to control the user experience, rather than enable it or enhance it."

      Absolutely fantastic summary there, I'll be sure to nick it for the future :P

      I'm just going to totally reiterate a great point here:

      "The big problem with Microsoft has always been their desire to control the user experience, rather than enable it or enhance it."

    I'm confused. Didn't Microsoft say their policy was no cross platform play? This is why Portal 2 didn't have it and why Final Fantasy XIV isn't coming to XBox One (or 360 now).

    Last edited 16/10/13 11:35 am

      PC gaming is far from dead - it has, in fact, been getting stronger. That's going to be pretty idiotic to ignore if you want more slices of more pies. Couple with the fact that - early days, at least - they're preparing to get murdered on the XBone vs PS4 screen-space wars and they know the architecture means PC ports shouldn't be difficult on Windows operating systems.

      We know that one of the big reasons multi-platform online-specific (thinking MMOs) don't get get much traction on Live is due to the lengthy certification process which happens too slowly for the patch schedule to keep up with other platforms. MS's new indie-friendly red-tape-cutting measures might be playing into that as well.

      When you read the link, you'll note they're only talking about PC, not cross-platform with Sony. That'll never happen. And the reason is, they want their filthy paws all over those screens. You won't just be booting up Portal 2 from Steam to play with your XBone-playing friend. You'll be using their GFWL-replacement which will look a LOT like the XBone dashboard, and you'll boot the game from in there. They want to put their 'experience' on multiple screens, not just 'let people play with each other no matter where'.

        Buddy they won't be getting murdered nothing is a sure thing look at the story with the 3ds and Ps vita you would have instantly billed the Vita for success with how powerful and promising it is... I hope all the potential Ps4 buyers head this warning
        Killzone = Halo
        GT6 (not next gen)*lol = Forza5 (next gen)
        Uh resistance? = Gears of War
        sonys exclusives just ain't what they used to be!

    just give me pc forza.
    I can see that working, there would be no advantage to mouse and KB

    Title is misleading. It is the opinion and comments of one man employed by Microsoft.

    Had it actually been the opinion of Microsoft, it would have been announced as a press release and/or would already be a reality across all multiplatform titles rather than specific releases.

      One man... who is the head of Microsoft Studios. The guy in charge of making the Xbox One. You're nickpicking that? Really??

    I need Forza on PC. PC gamers would be very grateful!

    We might even forgive you for screwing up Flight Simulator and Age of Empires.

    No problem with Cross-Platforming but wy naturally have to be able to play with mouse and keyboard on ps4 and xbox one on first and third person shooter

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