We already knew Microsoft would be putting a strong focus into gaming with their upcoming mobile platform, Windows Phone 7, but it seems the company has a few things up its sleeve beyond offering built-in Xbox Live functionality for things like leaderboards, achievements, messaging and demos. Speaking at the X10 event in Toronto, Microsoft's Greg Milligan confirmed that multiplayer gaming between Windows Phone owners and their Xbox 360 counterparts is in the works.
It won't be available when the platform launches in early October, though. Initially Windows Phone 7 will be limited to turn-by-turn gaming between handsets as well as companion-type gaming where "you play a level on the phone and it may unlock a level or a weapon or some special achievement on the console game." Milligan also mentions real-time gameplay between PC and phone owners using the Xbox Live infrastructure. In either case he believes that when the feature arrives, connectivity will likely be limited to Wi-Fi, as "operator networks are sensitive to that."
Back in July it was revealed that "many many months ago," Microsoft scrapped an Xbox Live project to let PC and console users interact on some form of united multiplayer platform because the experience was so different on each system that PC gamers "destroyed" console players every time. It's unclear what type of games would be taking advantage of this phone-to-console or phone-to-PC functionality, but we're curious to see what the company has planned to get around the obvious differences between platforms when it comes to gaming.