Microsoft: Xbox One and PC cross-platform play "makes sense"

Corporate VP Phil Spencer says "I'm not allowed to leak things" when asked about possibility of cross-platform play between console and PC.

Cross-platform play between consoles like the Xbox One and PC "makes sense," according to Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Spencer. Speaking with AusGamers, the executive said such a connected ecosystem is in fact where he believes the industry is headed.

"I’m not allowed to leak things," Spencer said when asked about the possibility of cross-platform play between Xbox One and PC. "But I think what you’re talking about makes a lot of sense."

Spencer said there still exist differences between console and PC gaming around control and input, which represent potential obstacles. He also pointed out that 2007's Shadowrun--which featured cross-platform play between Xbox 360 and PC--"didn't have tremendous success."

However, Spencer said Microsoft "learned a lot" from this experience and applied it to other games with forms of cross-platform play and connectivity like Skulls of the Shogun and Halo: Spartan Assault.

"This connected ecosystem across all the different devices is definitely where I think the future of gaming is going," Spencer said. "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."

The Xbox One launches on November 22 for $500.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
302 comments
Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Sadly what Phil mentions here is cross-device; not cross-platform. He is hinting at the unification of Xbox Live between Windows Desktop, Windows Phone, and Xbox; not PS-to-Nintendo-to-Xbox.

The logistics of getting a 3rd party matchmaking and server host in place would be a nightmare.

As much as this is an ideal situation for gamers, it's not much of a reality.

Filters and such could help with control input (e.g. Match controller-only, KBM-only, or allow mix). It just would be difficult to get all the manufacturers to agree to work with a common 3rd party to host the servers and perform cross-platform matchmaking.

SerOlmy
SerOlmy

For action/adventure games and others where the controller works better, then this makes total sense.  AC as an example of a game that should definitely have cross-platform MP since it controls much better with a controller than keyboard.  The community for the Xbox version is much larger than the PC version and would be a boom to the PC version multiplayer.  Hell, the only reason I buy AC games on the 360 is because the number of MP players on the PC sucks.  

For shooters it is definitely a bad idea since PC gamers have such an advantage over console games.  There have been documented tests where they pitted average PC games with KB/M against competitive console players with controllers and the console players get massacred every match.

MysteryGoat
MysteryGoat

I hope this happens for both consoles and wish it was something that happened years ago. There's a lot of games I prefer to play on the PC but would like to play multiplayer with friends that play only console. I understand there are difficulties to go through especially when it comes to control but I think they can come up with some bright solutions if they just worked on it.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

I don't think this guy understands why they don't do it today - it's for the fragile egos of your bro-shooter fans that PC and Xbox are kept separate.

You see, the moment you allow the audiences to mix, your controller-using frat boys are obliterated by the vastly superior mouse-using PC denizens.

By all means let me murder them as they slowly turn and cannot depend on auto aim.

McGregor
McGregor

If Microsoft wants to make it so I can play XB1 games on my PC, I'm ok with that, even if it requires me to keep the Windows OS. While I'd prefer to go to a Linux only environment at my house, buying a copy of windows instead of an entire console is something I'd actually consider/do to play an exclusive game. The reality is that this doesn't mean "play console games on your PC", it means, "If you bought call of duty for your PC, and your friend has it for XB1, you can join a match together".

snaketus
snaketus

So if I play, let's say some future first person shooter under my SteamOS or another Linux distribution on my PC, I can play with Xbox players? I doubt it. Title should say "Microsoft: Xbox One and MS Windows cross-platform play "makes sense"" instead. I hate it already when PC is synonym for Windows PC.

H0M3RC1D4L
H0M3RC1D4L

They are really close to just making PC games playable on the Xbox One...why not just make that last leap and call this a PC?

Solace427
Solace427

Cool. I imagine if they did this, they wouldn't force mandatory cross platform play and that you could simply revise your search to Xbox One users only or if you are a PC gamer, just search for other PC gamers.

CUDGEdave
CUDGEdave

No no no,Getting some snot nosed kid whining on in his xbox headset..no.

nine-eight-nine
nine-eight-nine

I think MS should continue to treat both as separate entities. Like a lot of you have already said if the xb1 gets mouse and keyboard support and games are x-platform, what's the point in buying one? All you're getting is dated PC tech. Then you have the argument of which platform you buy for. PC or xb1? Console and PC gaming should be kept separate IMO.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

On my main Gamespot page. the top stories are not updating. Is anybody else having this issue?

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

Shadowrun failed because it SUCKED you moron. People aren't gonna rush out and by a crossplatform multipolayer game if they all heard ity sucked.

XenoLair
XenoLair

Oh please no. This could only mean another GFWL like service on the PC that will undoubtedly fail and render half of its games unplayable.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

PC gamers will dominate at First Person Shooters.

I hope they compensate for this on XBOX ONE by allowing Mouse and Keyboard support.

kingcrimson24
kingcrimson24

players with keyboard and mouse will kill the hell out of us 

but , really , MS shouldn't release xbox exclusives for pc , this will make people buy a pc and a ps4 and totally forget xbox because they can play most xbox exclusives on pc as well .  

MN121MN
MN121MN

It "makes sense", but is it "viable" for the company?
Hmmm.............................

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

The problem with having too many cross-platform titles between the PC and Xbox is that it gives PC players less reason to get an Xbox One and might encourage them to get a PS4 instead for the exclusives. Unless Sony starts shipping games to the PC as well, in which case the reason for the existence of consoles in the first place would start to become questionable.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

cross platform between Linux and Xbox One would be awesome. oh i forgot the Xbox is from MS.. damn

Barighm
Barighm

This is a stepping stone to Steam-like Xbox Live and PSN services where all of their respective games are played entirely on PC's or PC-like devices. No dedicated consoles, just dedicated services. Heck, Sony already said that's where they want to go.

Nintendo, of course, will do their own thing and become all about the 3DS (or whatever they call future versions). They practically own that market anyway and it's a way better handheld gaming device than mobiles.

RELeon
RELeon

All the PC gamers I know generally do not enjoy sharing servers with console players. That is not to say consoles are bad, but PC gamers usually prefer to share with their own kind.

xukxj0nny
xukxj0nny

I game on both PC and Xbox.. I do not want PC gamers anywhere near me while I'm playing a FPS on Xbox... I do enjoy using my controller, but while on PC you really do need a Mouse/Keyboard for FPS if you want to do any good.  I'm not saying Mouse/Keyboard is BETTER, but a player of equal skill using a mouse/keyboard with take out a user with a controller 8/10 times because of speed and precision.

ritsukoblue
ritsukoblue

I hope This means. Final Fantasy XIV comes to the Xbox One!! :)

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

Well, the debate over Gamepad vs. Keyboard + Mouse had been raging since the 1980's.  Something like this would help settle the matter.

scrooge_drake
scrooge_drake

Will not play if this happens. because on Console everyone has same hardware, same input, same level of graphics. 


On PC it sucks to play multiplayer, some have gaming mouse, some have ultra graphics, high resolutions, etc.Multiplayer on PC is not fair.

snaketus
snaketus

@H0M3RC1D4L Or let's play Xbox games on PC. That way I could play Forza without buying Xbox and keep Sony console for numerous great exclusives.

McGregor
McGregor

@Solace427 Or if you're a PC gamer and feel that you want an "easy mode" multiplayer battle, you can search for console users only :D.

McGregor
McGregor

@CUDGEdave I never hear them. I only wear a headset and have chat come through if I'm in party chat.

jerryification
jerryification

@CUDGEdave And there are a lot of those.  I don't even understand why people wear headsets, so they can get ordered around or listen some kid whine? 

snaketus
snaketus

@nine-eight-nine Yeah and remove MS Windows cancer from PC gaming. I really hope Valve will succeed on this.

Enundr
Enundr

@GH05T-666 i wouldnt see why not , PS3 already does it....but then again its M$.....XD that would make too much sense to allow it!

snaketus
snaketus

@kingcrimson24 Yeah, that's exactly what I would do. Fortunately only MS exclusive I want to play is Forza so I can do this now and have been doing long time now. Even if I could play Forza... Not worth the Xbox tho.

McGregor
McGregor

@TenraiSenshi If Sony and Microsoft start making all their titles cross platform, the entire PC base will say, "I told you so". I've seen so many PC users say, "Consoles will be obsolete after this generation because of PC superiority". I used to be one of them, but after not having a gaming PC during the 360/PS3 generation, I don't think that will happen. Consoles have their place. While console hardware is inferior to a PC, they have the superior gamer numbers, and most games today are designed with consoles in mind first. All my friends that play on consoles don't want anything to do with a PC for gaming. They don't want to mess with the complexity of PC gaming (and it does have it's share of complications).

Then again, I'm wrong all the time :D

mr_nee
mr_nee

@Barighm Service is a logic step considering Sony is making a loss on each console unit sold. This loss is cross subsidised from profit made on services and licensing. Find a way to sell the service without the hardware and it's all profit. I can see Gaikai contributing to the this goal. I can play any gen game for the rest of my life never having to upgrade... if the service is set up rigth and internet connection becomes better

McGregor
McGregor

@RELeon I'm a PC gamer, and I'm not racist. PC gamers need to have a more open mind.

snaketus
snaketus

@xukxj0nny "but a player of equal skill using a mouse/keyboard with take out a user with a controller 8/10 times because of speed and precision."

And that's exactly you saying it's better! Lol.

Barighm
Barighm

@xukxj0nny Not in my experience. PC users may have the aim, sure, but I find the keyboard isn't nearly as useful for evasion. Avoid getting into a face-to-face firefight with them, focus on movement and put pressure on them (even with a controller) and they go down as quickly as everyone else does.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@J_Dangerously It's not a debate - mouse and keyboard is demonstrably better.

They've mixed console and PC audiences before and it has NEVER ended well for the console crowd.

Barighm
Barighm

@J_Dangerously Well, there was this one time Bungie put their Halo 2 PC team versus the Xbox team in their dev lab and the console guys owned the PC guys 3 games out of 3, but of course the PC crowd is awful quick to dismiss that little tidbit.

ewjiml
ewjiml

@scrooge_drake  

What on earth are you talking about,  this tidbit about not being fair?

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

I'm not sure why you think my statement is hateful. I'm simply pointing out that the likelyhood of cross-platform between different manufacturers is extremely unlikely. However, Microsoft has platforms for mutiple devices. Their cross-platform will really amount to cross-device play for devices running some form of Windows or Xbox operating system.

You don't have to agree with my opinion. It's not hateful. It's analytical.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

@Enundr I'd more expect Microsofts next OS too lock out KB/M and force PC users to use a controller./

sadface1234
sadface1234

@Barighm you need to learn to use your keyboard better if you have better "evasion" with a controller.  Also I would also argue that the most important attribute for evasion is situational awareness; not your controller scheme/movement.  Yes people with better strategy/tactics can beat someone who has better aim.

Put two people/teams with same skills amongst, the player with KB/Mouse would win hands down.

collingtonuk
collingtonuk

@Barighm @xukxj0nny Having played extensively with both I have yet to see any situation where a pad is better, either for movement or aiming. You need to remember that the WASD movement keys have all they keys round them too. Its far more versatile. I am all for sharing servers though.

ewjiml
ewjiml

@Barighm @xukxj0nny  

The precision that is wielded using a KB/Mouse cannot be replicated via controller on shooters.  For most single player games, I use my Logitech Rumblepad because it is comfortable.  However, if I plan on being even remotely competitive, I have to go back to the KB/Mouse.  I tried using my controller one time while playing Black Ops II and I was getting wiped all over the maps.  To say otherwise, is just naive. 

snaketus
snaketus

@Barighm @J_Dangerously Pc guys must have been console guys too. Keyboard + mouse doesn't make you good by default, you still need some skill. The point is that you are faster and more precise. Which is technically impossible with today's controllers. And shooters like that poor tactics will cause defeat and maps used will balance the battlefield. Let's say in tight corridors with spreading shotgun you can do almost same performance with both controller types. But put in some open area map with long range sharpshooting with free movement and let's see what happens.

snaketus
snaketus

@ewjiml @scrooge_drake Well only thing I know some people do is that they intentionally put low detail graphics on to remove vegetation and all that shit for better visibility. Still not cheating because everyone can do it. But try to enjoy your maximum detailed graphics when half the players just wants to be number one and run games without graphics.

Psycaustic
Psycaustic

@Hvac0120 I agree I believe he is referring to cross device integration NOT cross platform play. I do believe that we will see cross platform play with PC and Xbox one, but I would never believe that we would see cross platform between consoles. Licensing would be a nightmare not to mention who would manage the servers? and how would they get paid for? Who foots the bill? what side of the house has the controlling interests in the management, production and development. I am a PC/Xbox guy in this regards because I can get all the games on the PC that are on the PS4 and the ones I cant I am not really interested in the first place (not saying they are bad just not my cup of tea) and the Xbox has a better network situation. I just don't see any way they could ever do a cross console game play. Edit I didn't think the original comment was hateful.... just saying...

snaketus
snaketus

@DarkSaber2k @Enundr Lol what?! Why not just enable kb/m for console. Everyone can choose their preferred controller and everybody is happy.

Enundr
Enundr

@DarkSaber2k @Enundr id expect them to charge you a monthly fee to use a KB/M  more like it. its sad that i see M$ in the same light as EA now .....XD