A leading figure in gaming PCs has accused Microsoft of killing a project that would allow Xbox and PC gamers to play against each other, suggesting that embarrassment that console players would be consistently beaten was behind the decision.
Rahul Sood, the man behind VooDoo PC and CTO of HP's gaming business has expressed his disappointment at Microsoft's stance towards the PC as a gaming platform, and believes that Apple could be the main beneficiary.
"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," blogged Sood.
"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," he added
"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 [sic] knows, but I'd love to hear from anyone involved --- what happened?"
Viable gaming platform
Sood believes like many major developers that the PC remains a viable gaming platform, and that encouraging cross-platform play would have rejuvenated things.
"You simply don't get the same level of detail or control as you do with a PC over a console, he added.
"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.
"Instead they wanted to keep an old business model alive, and as a result they are (all) getting attacked by the most unlikely competitor, Apple.
"..had they allowed something like this to take place then perhaps the desire to have the best platform would still be there.
"Perhaps the scale of the PC would have allowed Microsoft to get away from the hardware business and focus on their core, software. Perhaps we could have finally integrated the Xbox into the PC.
"Perhaps not, all of this is over now, there is no looking back."
It's an interesting viewpoint, and one that has been echoed several times in the past months.
Microsoft's perceived lack of interest in the PC has been met by a response from the company that the likes of Fable 3 will arrive for the platform.
But not, of course, until the Xbox version has had some time to sell.