Rumor: Microsoft Killed PC/Xbox Cross Platform Play

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Rumor: Microsoft Killed PC/Xbox Cross Platform Play

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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, 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

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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.

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.

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.

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...

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

Good job Logan, you feed those elitists.

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.

I'd like this...Xbox and PS3 would work alot easier.

but i can dream

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

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.

Logan Westbrook:
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:
I'd like this...Xbox and PS3 would work alot easier.
but i can dream

Indeed we can, Arc. Indeed we can...

strangely in the same time frame ps3 is starting cross platform play.

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

"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

That sounds utterly stupid.

Logan Westbrook:
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...

Logan Westbrook:

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

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.

Hehehe, My PC gaming balls are feeling pretty massive at the moment.

Ironic Pirate:
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.

vrbtny:
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?

Well, I'll probably be using this page as a citation in many arguments to come.

They should still make it possible for Coop games to be cross-platform enabled.

More likely poor vs poor.

as that is the vast majority of both groups (I'm in there too for FPSes in PvP)

Am sure the top people would be pretty much even Stevens, though a bit of an edge to the PC gamers, and they have more refinable control systems.

Didn't the PS3 version of Unreal Tournament 3 have cross-platform play? How well did that work?

I doubt that differences in controls caused them to dump the cross over: It probably had something to do with development times (if one game does it, then another and another, eventually it becomes the standard), or the larger conspiracy of dumbing down the gamers themselves by lowering their expectations through content consolidation.

It was never really that great an idea. If competitive PC gamers do not want to play a game with forced handicaps and slowed down gameplay then they can choose to play other games. If no commercial option is available then they are more than happy to play open source games or mods of fifteen year old games.

I played counter-strike with an xbox controller today, I played for half an hour and only got 2 kills.was

Ziadaine:
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.

Short of turning console fps into complete auto-aim where all the player has to do is press a button to shoot quicker than the PC gamer does everything (which isn't much of a stretch from where console FPS is now come to think of it HUR HUR HUR), balancing them would be impossible without gimping the PC controls to the point where no-one would buy the game.

I can't believe they didn't see that one coming when they first came to the idea to do this cross platform play. It was so obvious. You can't beat someone who has a mouse and keyboard with a fuckin' joypad. Not to mention damn hackers who still roam every major FPS game.

RobCoxxy:
This decision has been based either on either really pathetic 360 players blaming the PC players or possibly exaggerating PC players. Or both together.

If it's true I'd imagine they actually monitor which platform had the most kills - not just leave it down to players to guess at how many they killed.

Phoenixlight:
There's no a lot of difference between the 360 controller and a keyboard+mouse if you put the sensitivity at it's higest.

There really is: you can spin around in less than a second with a mouse, it moves as fast as you do. A gamepad - even on the highest sensitivity - still has a mechanical turning speed.

Onyx Oblivion:

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

Like I said, handicaps were put in place on the PC version:

"Because of the lack of 'pixel-accuracy' with the Xbox 360 analog thumbstick, the designers have included an aim-assisting technology, which basically interpolates the player's movement and causes the reticle to stay over an enemy player like a weak magnet. In addition, FASA has implemented a feature which causes the cross-hair to expand during quick movements, thus lowering the player's accuracy, making it impossible to quickly turn and maintain accuracy, reducing the potential advantage of playing with a mouse.[7][8] PC players, who have a more sensitive control scheme, are able to turn significantly faster than their controller-using counterparts and would have gained an unfair advantage."

(Wikipedia)

I also remember reading that the crosshairs on the PC version would wobble around slightly.

As a 360 owner, I'm glad that PC/360 integration never happened.
I'd probably get my arse kicked a whole lot more.

In before console players claiming they owned PC gamers so hard that--- oh wait. Too late.

Strange that Microsoft based this decision on just one experiment. And even if the PC players turn(ed) out to have a huge advantage, what about co-op play? It would have been nice to play certain RPG titles in Co-op. And damn the lag the console player has to suffer (if it even exists).

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

Which is why you come up with a new control scheme that isn't so [f**kING G*DA*NED] cramped with your hands.

It's simply a biological fact that you can get beter motor accuracy with your hand than with your least agile finger, the thumb.

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