Microsoft exec seems to hint at future Xbox One-Windows 8 cross platform support

Microsoft tried to bring multiplayer cross platform gaming to the Xbox 360 and Windows Vista in 2007 with Games for Windows Live, but only a handful of games decided to take advantage of that feature. With Games For Windows Live reportedly shutting down completely in 2014, Microsoft is moving on with both its Xbox One game console as well as Xbox branded games made for Windows 8.

Since the Xbox One has a version of Windows 8 running on its system for apps, it stands to reason there could also be cross-platform gaming for Xbox One and Windows 8 at some point. In a new interview with AusGamers, Microsoft Games Studios head Phil Spencer was asked about that possibility and he stated, "I’m not allowed to leak things" and then reportedly smiled.

Spencer then expanded on that statement, saying that Microsoft has experimented with connecting Windows 8 games to consoles at some level, such as Halo: Spartan Assault, where playing the game on Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 can unlock some content in Halo 4 for the Xbox 360. He added:

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.

It sounds like Microsoft will be adding at least some kind of cross-platform support for Xbox One and Windows 8 games at some point. The big questions are when it will happen and how deep will that connection actually get.

Source: AusGamers | Image via Microsoft

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The PS3 already lets developers run cross-platform servers. Since the PSN isn't a "walled garden" and has a "regular" internet connection nothing (technically) prevents developers from allowing both PC and PS3 clients to connect to the same servers. I remember there was big talk about this back when Unreal Tournament 3 came out. The thing is everyone CHOOSES to segregate the communities for various reasons such as not wanting to delay PC patches while they go through the (sometimes long) console approval processes, tuning the gameplay to controllers vs. mouse/keyboard, etc.

Obviously not all games are going to feature cross-platform multiplayer... Just because there is a "feature" that supports it doesn't mean that developers are required to take advantage of it.

Some games, like COD and BF series, will have a clear advantage on the PC side. Other games, like MMORPGs, would likely be fine with cross-platform multiplayer.

Everyone seems to think that with this, Xbox games and PC games will be cross platform. This isn't true. Only the Windows App store will share titles. These titles will run on the Windows virtual machine on Xbox One. Full Xbox titles will not be integrated with PC and vice versa, only Apps.

Oh he's talking about actual cross platform stuff. Maybe they could do something like PlayStation minis but why would they sell you a game that runs on all platforms instead of charging you multiple times?

Spicoli said,
Why not just make them the same platform? I'd love to be able to play my games on the console and my laptop.

Developers would much rather sell you two copies of their game, specially if we're talking a big AAA title.

Spicoli said,
And Microsoft wants to sell consoles and making the software portable between the console and desktop would pretty much wipe out the competition.

Honestly I expect the games that are portable to be the casual and more arcade type games. We could see some bigger AAA games but I don't think anytime soon.

Xbox Games with joypads and aim assist versus PC Gamers with keyboard/mouse, wallhack and sniperscript? in games like Call of Duty: Ghosts?

What possibly could go wrong?

Vykranth said,
Xbox Games with joypads and aim assist versus PC Gamers with keyboard/mouse, wallhack and sniperscript? in games like Call of Duty: Ghosts?

What possibly could go wrong?

It's ok. It's not like the console gamers use lag switches on ethernet cables, or mod their control pads for rapid file.

Honestly though, if they put up a console gamer with their control pad even with aim assist on, vs a PC gamer with just a basic keyboard and mouse. The PC gamer is going to feel God like and the console gamer is going to have to use skill of the map layout and hope that the PC game has gone for a Coffee.

Chances are if any PC vs console action ever happened. It'd be on servers that only allowed authorised gameplay via xbox control pads. It's a shame, though, with the power of the new consoles we could see full MMORPGs and RTS games without the need for slow action and poor menus, and reduced functionality in the game (*ahem* Diablo 3*) added to compensate for the lack of keyboard and mouse.

sagum said,

It's ok. It's not like the console gamers use lag switches on ethernet cables, or mod their control pads for rapid file.

That's true, I forgot about the RF controlers.
My point was not that console players are not angels compared to PC players. There are cheaters/low-lifes on both side.

sagum said,

It's ok. It's not like the console gamers use lag switches on ethernet cables, or mod their control pads for rapid file.

Honestly though, if they put up a console gamer with their control pad even with aim assist on, vs a PC gamer with just a basic keyboard and mouse. The PC gamer is going to feel God like and the console gamer is going to have to use skill of the map layout and hope that the PC game has gone for a Coffee.

Chances are if any PC vs console action ever happened. It'd be on servers that only allowed authorised gameplay via xbox control pads. It's a shame, though, with the power of the new consoles we could see full MMORPGs and RTS games without the need for slow action and poor menus, and reduced functionality in the game (*ahem* Diablo 3*) added to compensate for the lack of keyboard and mouse.

I hear that kind of stuff all the time. Yet when a cross platform fps released, the PC players never held any advantage over the 360 players. Shadowrun.

Microsoft and Sony should allow PS and XBOX Crossover with games, and so us XBOX'ers can show these PS Fanbois on how real Gamers Game

*Runs away and puts on Anti flame suit*

EvilAstroboy said,
So it's going to be PC Gamers Vs XBOX Gamers in COD or BF, or maybe ever Elder Scrolls online ?

This is going to be awesome ...

They'd never allow FPS games to work like that. The console players would get tooled.

Mordkanin said,

They'd never allow FPS games to work like that. The console players would get tooled.

Shadowrun was cross platform windows vs Xbox 360. The PC players never really stuck out above the 360 players.

McKay said,

Shadowrun was cross platform windows vs Xbox 360. The PC players never really stuck out above the 360 players.

You must have played a different version than me. And from what I recall that was their cross-platform test game and we all know how many more came after it.

mrp04 said,

You must have played a different version than me. And from what I recall that was their cross-platform test game and we all know how many more came after it.

We must have indeed experienced different games, I routinely saw 360 players top of the score lists in matches, after learning it was cross-platform when I got it, whenever a player was top of the leaderboard by a big margin I would get curious and go onto their profile, was never consistently PC gamers I saw, was a nice mixture of 360 and PC profiles.

You can already play Asphalt 7 multiplayer on Windows 8 against people playing on Windows Phone 8.

It really depends on the game genre.

Yeah I'd love it. I prefer gaming on my PC since I can get better graphics and mods and stuff (not because of kb/m), but my friends are all console gamers so any multiplayer game I get, I get for 360.