Rumor: Microsoft Killed PC/Xbox Cross Platform Play

Logan Westbrook

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Feb 21, 2008
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Rumor: Microsoft Killed PC/Xbox Cross Platform Play


Microsoft scrapped plans to let Xbox 360 and PC gamers play games together, says Hewlett-Packard's CTO of Gaming Rahul Sood.

Ever wondered why more games don't let PC and Xbox 360 gamers play against each other? Well apparently there were plans for it to be a lot more common, but Microsoft found that PC gamers were just at too much of an advantage.

Writing on his blog [http://www.rahulsood.com/2010/07/console-gamers-get-killed-against-pc.html], Sood said that he had heard from "reliable sources" that Microsoft had killed a project that would have allowed players on the two platforms to compete online. Sood's sources claim that Microsoft pitted the best console players using control pads against "mediocre" PC gamers with mice and keyboards and found that the console players were "destroyed every time." It was apparently so bad, he wrote, that cross-platform play would have been an embarrassment to the Xbox team.

Sood added that he wishes that the project had continued, as he believed that it would have inspired more developers to create "rich experiences" for the PC, and meant the desire to have the "best" platform would still exist. He mused that this might have allowed Microsoft to "get away" from the hardware business - in other words, scrap the Xbox entirely - and focus on software.

It's important to remember that is just rumor, and without any kind of official confirmation, it should be treated with a certain degree of skepticism. It's true that there have been experiments in cross-platform play, most notably Shadowrun in 2007 which actually shipped with it, and it's possible that Microsoft continued to investigate it further, but it's hard to believe that it could have led to some golden age of PC gaming, as Sood suggests it might.

Source: Eurogamer [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/ms-killed-pc-xbox-cross-platform-play]


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Woodsey

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Aug 9, 2009
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That is... quite hilarious if true.

Anyway, I thought in Shadowrun they were forced to wobble the PC gamers' crosshairs to make it harder for them.
 

Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
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Here's why:

The major push was that Shadowrun game mentioned in the article.

The game it was linked heavily to failed, therefore, cut yer losses and run.

And I killed dozen of PC gamers in my few weeks with Shadowrun. It's an advantage, but not an insurmountably massive one.
 

Ziadaine_v1legacy

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Apr 11, 2009
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I personally think crossing them over isn't the best idea. PC wise we have mod tools, precision aiming with a mouse, custom maps, hackers (sadly) etc. It would just be too much programming, test-trial and error.

It would be good to see it one day where it IS balanced, but it wont be anytime soon.
 

Katherine Kerensky

Why, or Why Not?
Mar 27, 2009
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Hmm... funnily enough, when I played Shadowrun, I'm nowhere near the best 360 gamer... yet I could match the PC gamers move for move... I saw no advantage they had that I couldn't counter with ease.
But what do I know, I'm just a mediocre gamer, not one of the experts at Microsoft.
Still, could have been interesting to have more cross-platform play, even if it was just an added playlist option, so you can choose whether or not to play cross-platform...
 

RobCoxxy

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Feb 22, 2009
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This decision has been based either on either really pathetic 360 players blaming the PC players or possibly exaggerating PC players. Or both together.
 

erbkaiser

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Jun 20, 2009
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Is anyone surprised by this?
Keyboard and mouse players have such an immense benefit over gamepad players that they absolutely dominate them.
Playing with a gamepad (compared to k&m combo) is like jogging through water... everything is slower.

Shadowrun tried to compensate for this by introducing artificial lag and sluggishness to the PC players... yeah, fun to play (not!).

The only Microsoft could have gotten this to work would be by forcing PC players to use gamepads as well, and even then the PC players will have advantages as they could setup macros, use cheating programs, replace textures, etc..

PC-console crossplaying is a pipe dream.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a PC elitist in any way... I own a PS3 and do most of my gaming on it now. But that does not mean I cannot recognise that a mouse and keyboard is a far better control for certain types of games than a gamepad is.

Now for other genres than FPS, cross-platform play might work. Why can't I play a racing game on my PS3 against PC players? There we'd both have the same response speed as we wouldn't directly control a character, but steer a car which responds to in-game physics.
Shadowrun was a bad choice to test this, they should have taken a Need for Speed or Burnout title.
 

Ironic Pirate

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But in fast paced games, console gamers would have a mobility advantage, as WASD isn't all that great for movement...
 

viranimus

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I cant help but to wonder. I can see where PCs would have advantages, but I dont get PCs having an advantage in the mouse vs gamepad equation. I know that in PC titles that have 360 gamepad support, my reaction time is equal to if not better with a gamepad than a mouse.

I think honestly if there is any real advantage, and if microsoft did nix this, it would be the advantage of the hardware infinitely over the input interface. Its not a knock on the 360.. but the 360 is basically a computer that was crafted roughly 5 years ago, vs PC that were crafted as recently as yesterday. less strain to produce the same graphics or even better graphics in some cases. In a competitive nature, Lag = Frag, so thats where I could see it being an unfair advantage, not simply because of a mouse.

Mouse does give quicker range of movement, but typically has to muddy the process up by having the mouse control both the look mechanism, tethered to the movement mechanism. (IE basically having to use a cross pad configuration on a keyboard such as the arrow keys, vs having an analog stick for movement.

Either or, its really moot. Its like saying that an automatic transmission car cannot compete with a manual transmission car in every single race. While that may be true for out and out speed due to shift delay, ive seen plenty of automatics beat manual transmission that are geared for low end torque acceleration, running on highly tricky road courses. (i suspect that will start a fight in and of itself) Anyway, the point is... its just a mechanism. You will find that there are pros and cons to both, and you would find there are those who are more adept at using a controller, than even the best with a mouse and vice versa.

I think the real point is that its actually a good thing, but not by blaming it on mechanisms, but because the communities are more similar. PC gamers have their styles just as console players do.. So it makes logical sense to group them together if nothing else to create a shared culture.
 

Jamous

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Apr 14, 2009
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Logan Westbrook said:
Rumor: Microsoft Killed PC/Xbox Cross Platform Play
Sood sources claim that the Microsoft pitted the best console players using control pads against "mediocre" PC gamers with mice and keyboards and found that the console players were "destroyed every time." It was apparently so bad, he wrote, that cross-platform play would have been an embarrassment to the Xbox team.
I quote Yahtzee. "The glorious PC gaming master race" :D
OT: Iunno, this could've been really fun, especially if they'd continued things like Halo for the PC. And done it a lot better and not for Vista only. >_< I just think it would really have been a fun time.
arc1991 said:
I'd like this...Xbox and PS3 would work alot easier.
but i can dream
Indeed we can, Arc. Indeed we can...
 

Phoenixlight

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Aug 24, 2008
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There's not a lot of difference between the 360 controller and a keyboard+mouse if you put the sensitivity at it's highest.
 

DTWolfwood

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Oct 20, 2009
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"Sood sources claim that the Microsoft pitted the best console players using control pads against "mediocre" PC gamers with mice and keyboards and found that the console players were "destroyed every time." It was apparently so bad, he wrote, that cross-platform play would have been an embarrassment to the Xbox team." DUH!

thats y Console shooters have autoaim :p
 

Antiparticle

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Dec 8, 2008
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Logan Westbrook said:
Sood sources claim that the Microsoft pitted the best console players using control pads against "mediocre" PC gamers with mice and keyboards and found that the console players were "destroyed every time."
This seems highly unlikely to me. But it'll be music to the ears of the PC elitists of course...
 

DazZ.

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Jun 4, 2009
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Ironic Pirate said:
But in fast paced games, console gamers would have a mobility advantage, as WASD isn't all that great for movement...
Try strafe jumping with a controller, or any fast paced FPS manoeuvre.

You couldn't do any of the hard jumps in Quake or Warsow with a controller.
 

Dogstile

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Jan 17, 2009
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vrbtny said:
Yes!!! I feel proud to be a PC gamer, we are now proven (Sorta-Officially) to be better than those console playing turds(To quote Yahtzee)..

No offense(Much) to Console gmaers...
Say no offence all you like, we all know what you meant :p

I call them out on this though. Every game of shadowrun i watched my mate play he destroyed the PC players. So, exaggeration?