Is there a technical reason why cross-platform gaming isn't popular?

By TomSEA
Dec 7, 2010
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  1. Is there a technical reason why there isn't any cross-platform gaming options available? For example why PC can't play against Xbox or PS3 players in common games like CoD: Black Ops, Unreal Tournament or Dirt2? All you're doing is hosting a server with the game code - whether you're accessing that server via console or PC would seem to be irrelevant.

    Was chatting with a co-worker about it. I'm aware that tests have been done and PC gamers with a keyboard and mouse absolutely smoke console players trying to use a controller in first person shooters. But I can't believe that's the only reason developers/producers don't have multi-platform playing options. The possibilities to make money via ads and sponsoring servers in a multi-platform enviornment would be hard to ignore.

    Anyone have an idea about this?
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,020   +83 Staff Member

    Not to turn this into hot winded debate about PC/console peripherals, but if one side does have an edge, that's pretty significant. I imagine most developers would gladly divide their userbase if it ensured a higher quality experience. :/ Or so I would hope.

    Then again, mixing users would allow console developers to sell more accessories. They'd be able to sell "official" keyboards/mice to console gamers, while PC gamers might be more inclined to invest in a gamepad for things like fighting and driving games.

    :( This post went exactly no where. I'm curious about the possible technical limitations too.
  3. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,392   +16

    For PC/360 there shouldn't be an issue as games like Shadowrun have already done it, with developers from other studios commenting that it's possible.

    There are other problems like controller advantages as you already pointed out, which wouldn't exactly be fair for the casual person who buys the console game and doesn't have a chance at competing. While some would argue just give them a keyboard/mouse, not everyone wants to use one. A lot of console players like using a controller even if it isn't as good since it won't matter as they are on an even playing field. And we all know which side racks in more money and messing with that makes no sense.

    The best potential we PC gamers have is if Microsoft integrates us more into the Live platform. But honestly I'm not sure they really want to do that. As we already know, Microsoft turned Xbox Live into a cash cow with hardly offering any unique services for a hefty price. Something like that would never succeed on the PC and more integration would need to be done without charging us gamers. They have however shown interest at least as of recently so things might change over time, but I wouldn't get my hopes up just yet. I would just like them to focus on getting a few new exclusives out again, considering over the years they've completely left PC gamers behind.
  4. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,127

    I would like to kick some console butt on Black Ops with me playing on PC but i don't see it happening anytime soon.
  5. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,235   +315

    Thanks Relic and Matthew. I didn't think there was any real technical reason why it couldn't be done. More of a matter of getting parties to work together (fat chance) and figuring out a solution as far as equitable controls for the games.

    Personally, I think all the interested parties are really missing out on an opportunity to make some serious bucks. And for us as gamers (regardless of platform) to really expand our online gaming friendships and challenges.

    Thanks again for the responses!
  6. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,127

  7. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,235   +315

    Yeah, that was the article I was thinking about when I commented about the results of PC gamers using keyboards/mice vs. console controllers.

    I wish it hadn't been killed off either, but MS does what MS does.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,042   +224

    Excuse me, but I'm not a gamer on any platform but there is a difference between DirectX * and OpenGL.
    The APIs to drive the video are not transparent and (imo) there is a diffrence 'twix the platforms.

    Please correct me with better reference material if you have any ...
  9. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,392   +16

    Hmm you're right, was being naive on the technical matters and only looking at DX developed games while overlooking the rest (I forget about OpenGL sometimes, oh I miss it :( ). I guess the PC/360 is really the only place to do it, but I find they lack interest in really pursuing it with the above points. And if they do want it, I don't see why they've just abandoned us over the past few years.
  10. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,235   +315

    Good point jobeard - thanks!


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