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Exploding Barrels: The Next Generation

Xbox 360/PC Cross-platform Multiplayer Project Ends In Surprising Failure

Xbox 360 controller Being able to play online multiplayer modes with players who own competing consoles has long been one of those seemingly unattainable goals in the world of video games, but Microsoft made a serious run at the idea once upon a time when it tried to allow for Xbox 360 players and PC players to compete when playing the same game on Xbox Live or Windows Live.  It ended in failure, but not for the reason you'd expect.  The technical side of things worked great.  No, the problem was that the PC players never lost a match.  Rahul Sood has the story.

There was a project that got killed at Microsoft. This project was designed to allow console gamers and PC gamers to interact and battle over a connected environment. Personally I wish it would have stayed the course. I've heard from reliable sources that during the development they brought together the best console gamers to play mediocre PC gamers at the same game... and guess what happened? They pitted console gamers with their "console" controller, against PC gamers with their keyboard and mouse.

The console players got destroyed every time. So much so that it would be embarrassing to the XBOX team in general had Microsoft launched this initiative. Is this why the project was killed Who knows, but I'd love to hear from anyone involved --- what happened?

Those of us who have been in the gaming business for over a decade know the real deal. You simply don't get the same level of detail or control as you do with a PC over a console. It's a real shame that Microsoft killed this -- because had they kept it alive it might have actually increased the desire of game developers and gamers alike to continue developing and playing rich experiences on the PC which would trickle down to the console as it has in the past.

I bet that's an outcome that the development team hadn't considered.  I'm a console controller gamer to the end.  I hate having to use a keyboard and mouse to play console-type video games.  There are just too many button options and overly precise control issues, although typing that out loud now sounds silly.  I was playing Just Cause 2 on PC a few nights ago via the OnLive service and had a terrible time acclimating to the controls.  I need control sticks and just a few buttons to press.  Having to deal with the WASD keys to move, the mouse to aim, the F button for the grappling hook, the R button to reload the gun, number keys to choose weapons, mouse buttons to fire and throw grenades... gah!  It's all just too much and it's spread out all over the desk.  No, give me a controller each and every time. 

(via Gizmodo)