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Reality Check Time for Cross-Platform Gaming Demo

The tech blogosphere is abuzz this weekend about a Microsoft demo at TechEd Middle East 2010 where Eric Rudder plays the same game on Windows, on a Windows Phone, and then on the Xbox 360. And it's not just the same game--it's the same game session, so you can continue playing a game you started on one device on either of the others.

And the crowd goes wild.

Sorry, but spare me. Microsoft has promised this kind of thing in the past, sort of: Remember when Shadowrun for the PC and Xbox 360 were going to usher in an era of games you could play together in mixed Windows and Xbox 360 environments? No? That's OK, no one else does either: Shadowrun was a terrible game and no other attempts at this kind of functionality were made. So while the notion of what Microsoft showed off is interesting, let's get real. It's like playing the modern equivalent of a Java-based game: You're going to get a minimal experience in each environment because you can only use lowest-common denominator technology.

So while I'm not saying this won't happen, I am saying it won't be a huge deal. Because this what Microsoft does. It just throws stuff out there and sees what sticks. More often then not, it doesn't stick.

I'd love to be proven wrong down the road. But this has "doesn't stick" written all over it.

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