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Microsoft Demo Game Across Windows, Xbox & Windows Phone

Gordon Kelly

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Late Friday controversial CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed 90 per cent of Microsoft resources would soon be dedicated to the Cloud and now company senior VP of technical strategy Eric Rudder has given us a brief, but impressive glimpse of just how cool such technology can be.

During a TechEd keynote in Dubai, Rudder played the same platform game on Windows Phone Series 7, a Windows 7 PC and an Xbox 360. The cool part: it uses the Cloud to save the exact state of progress in that particular session so it could be picked up at the very latest point regardless of which platform you are using.

How was this done? The game was compiled using Visual Studio and, critically, had 90 per cent shared code on all three platforms. Naturally enough, this means the game wasn't exactly Crysis Warhead in the graphics department - though it does show how the future should pan out as development matures.

Furthermore, the potential for each platform to interact - say using your phone for a touchscreen puzzle as part of a full blown FPS on the Xbox - is obvious for all and likely represents just the first step of the exciting Xbox Live functionality integrated into Windows Phone Series 7. Furthermore, Microsoft is the only company on the market with mainstream desktop, handset and games console OSes which gives it a key advantage. Perhaps that's why Apple is suddenly pushing game development and embracing distribution platforms such as Valve's Steam.

Is the Redmond giant getting back on its game? Like my deliberate puns, it certainly seems that way...

In related news Apple CEO Steve Jobs has rather emphatically ruled out the possibility of the iPad being able to tether with the iPhone. I'm not going to get into the mudslinging that has come out of this development - or Job's rather terse email response to this seemingly politely asked question (that info can be found on 9to5Mac linked below). I will say two things though: 1. Shame. 2. While reasonable and even a logical and sensible idea, I never expected Apple to decide anything different.

That's just how Apple is: you're either with us, or get the hell out of our way....

Links:

via Engadget

via 9to5Mac

Stelph

March 8, 2010, 2:20 pm

I think Microsoft could be on a winner with this one as I think its quite a cool concept, I have an iPod Touch that I use for web browsing at home and as a media player/light gaming machine when im out and about and this functionality is the first thing thats come along and is tempting me to exchange the ipod for a Zune (assuming the Zune is supported as well as the windows phone).





It would be good if PC developers could use this technology as well, will that happen,. or is it Xbox only?

BobaFett

March 8, 2010, 3:00 pm

I can see the point of being able to code a game that will work on consoles and personal computers with relative ease, where the same control mechanisms can be used but being able to also play the game on a touch device where the controls are vastly different? This will inevitably lead to most games having a best platform to play them on. Bejewelled high scores with a touch device are probably going to be better than with a mouse or console controller. Even with FPS games that are already console and PC compatible, I don't know any that allow keyboard and mouse players to compete with console gamers because it wouldn't be much fun. Sure there are going to be some games that won't be affected but for arcade games where the control mechanism has a large influence on playability, this write-once deploy-anywhere is going to encourage a lot of crud. Fleshing out numbers in the Marketplace could well be one of Microsoft's goals with this as they play catchup to Apple's ridiculous App Store numbers, but personally I'd take quality over quantity any day.

ChaosDefinesOrder

March 8, 2010, 3:07 pm

Are Apple really that determined to make the iPad as useless as possible? Seems every chance they've had to make it fit with current trends and usage patterns they've said no and either done something different or taken it out completely.

Xiphias

March 8, 2010, 6:49 pm

I suspect the only non-casual genre this'll gain any traction with is MMOs.

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