Real-time console-to-phone gaming for Win Phone 7

A Microsoft representative lets it slip that real-time console-to-phone gaming will eventually make its way to Windows Phone 7.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
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Microsoft plans to offer gamers the opportunity to play with each other in real time from either a console or a Windows Phone 7 device, a manager revealed at Microsoft's X10 conference in Toronto this week.

"We are working on real-time phone-to-console, likely initially through Wi-Fi," Microsoft Canada mobility solutions manager Greg Milligan said in an interview with Toronto-based tech site RGBfilter.

"That's not on day one," he said. "Day one will be turn-by-turn 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. But yeah, absolutely working on phone-to-console real-time. That's something we're working on and expect to have in the near future."

When I asked Microsoft to comment, a company representative appeared to confirm what Milligan said earlier.

"Right now we're focused on delivering a great selection of Xbox Live games for Windows Phone 7 and integrating key Xbox Live features that connect the community on mobile," the representative said Wednesday in an e-mail. "We have plans to integrate synchronous multiplayer experiences into Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7, but not in the immediate future."

Milligan didn't elaborate more on the feature to RGBfilter, but it's worth noting that the real-time option would only be available on games that support the technology. And at this point, no developers have said that their titles will support such a feature. Moreover, Microsoft would need to sign off on any such title, since the company will be approving all Xbox Live games for Windows Phone 7.

Further reading: Microsoft details Windows Phone game plan