Microsoft's US Xbox boss has confirmed this week that the much-heralded 'Live Anywhere' gaming service – whereby games can be played seamlessly across the PC, Xbox 360 and Windows Mobile platforms – is still in development.
When Bill Gates and Peter Moore introduced Microsoft's Live Anywhere vision at E3 in 2006, the audience of (mainly US) press and industry delegates whooped and cheered with excitement.
The future for gaming looked bright. Hell, they had even wheeled on Bill G himself to launch the concept (Gates' first ever trip to E3, which was perhaps the most surprising announcement he made that day).
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However, Microsoft then went a little quiet on the estimated time of arrival for the Live Anywhere service of late, following the muted reception of cross-platform PC/Xbox 360 title Shadowrun last year.
Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Global Marketing, Interactive Entertainment Business, Jeff Bell, assured an audience at this week’s Electronic Gaming Summit today that: "Live anywhere is not abandoned, it's just not easy to do."
Logical development for Xbox
Jon Hicks, Editor of Xbox 360: The Official Xbox Magazine told TechRadar today that: "I'm not surprised Live Anywhere is still in development. It's a logical way to connect Microsoft's growing presence in the mobile phone market with the Xbox and PC, something that will increasingly important in the face of competition from Sony and Apple.
“That said, the slow development of Games for Windows Live has shown that it's a significant challenge, so it seems likely that Live Anywhere will take a while to come to market."
TechRadar should hear more from our contacts within and close to Microsoft on the current plans for the arrival of Live Anywhere sometime soon.
It's looking less likely that we will see a fully-functioning Live Anywhere service 'this gen' and looking increasingly likely that the promised, full PC-mobile-console connectivity is going to be part of the next-gen Xbox, whatever that may be called.