Spencer: "I'm Not Allowed To Leak Things..."
Windows 8 and Xbox One both use the Metro GUI and Microsoft IDs. Xbox One has a PC-like architecture and integrated cloud save support. So it isn't out of the question to wonder whether we could eventually see cross-play between Microsoft's next-gen console and PCs on certain games.
A possibility that looks much more likely after a coy little tease from Microsoft Studios' Phil Spencer.
AusGamers asked Spencer was quizzed whether cross-play titles are part of Microsoft's strategy. “I’m not allowed to leak things [smiles]," he replied suggestively. "But I think what you’re talking about makes a lot of sense. Now you have differences in Windows gaming and console gaming around control and input… in fact if you go back to Shadow Run on Xbox 360 — something I worked on — we had PC players playing against Xbox 360 customers. We didn’t have tremendous success with that, but we learnt a lot from it."
“And then earlier this year we released Skulls of the Shogun, which was a game we launched on all three platforms on the same day, and you could start on one platform and then save the game to the Cloud and play across any of the screens and progress. And then Halo: Spartan Assault has some links between Halo 4 and Spartan Assault, even though they’re very different games.
“This connected ecosystem across all the different devices is definitely where I think the future of gaming is going; 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.”
An interesting non-answer, perhaps, but one that's worth bearing in mind. Microsoft has laid the groundwork for Xbox One/PC cross-play... so we'll eventually find out whether it was part of a master plan or perhaps complete coincidence on their part. More as we hear it.