back to article Microsoft flaunts cross-platform gaming goodies

Ninety per cent of a game's source code can now be shared between an Xbox, a PC and a phone - assuming one wants an Xbox game on a three-inch screen. The demonstration, performed at Microsoft's tech•ed conference, shows a platform game transitioning from an Xbox to a Windows Phone 7 Series, and finally to a PC. All three …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Platform or format?

    Aren't Microsoft, Mac OS X, Linux (for example) constituent parts of what we understand to be platforms?


    Desktop, XBox and phone (for example) what we understand to be formats?

    I thought for a microsecond that Microsoft had seen the light.

  2. Paul Shirley

    not impressed

    20 years ago porting Amstrad CPC Z80 source to CBM C64 6502 I was hitting that 90% shared source in the majority of source files. Only the poor conditional assembly support in the tools stopped me actually using the same files.

    Frankly, if you can't hit that ratio your doing something very wrong, especially in a higher level language. Just a little planning and the right architecture.

    Nothing to see here.

  3. PhonicUK


    This is all well and good for a simple 2D platformer for which all 3 platforms can handle. But how about complex 3D games where different versions require different assets in order to perform well?

    Heres to hoping we see full-on XNA in the Windows 7 Phone OS!

  4. Is it me?


    I'll truely believe when I can play HALO on my Wii

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns

      RE: Great!

      You've got no chance - since MS bought Budgie, they don't even seem to make games for the Mac anymore (which is where they started). I suspect they've been told not to be naughty and to concentrate on MS games.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    this been the case for a while?

    I thought that was the whole purpose behind the xna sdk, allowing game code portability between xbox and pc. The phone may have a few minor problems due to the hardware though.

  6. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Up

    Here's a secret

    "Ninety per cent of a game's source code can now be shared between an Xbox, a PC and a phone - assuming one wants an Xbox game on a three-inch screen."

    Here's a secret - this has always been true, ever since the invention of languages such as "C" which can move cross-platform. 90% of the source code of DOOM has been moved to every device ever manufactured - and, probably, to some that never got out of prototype.

    Of course, the other secret is that being able to share source code between a 6-threaded 2.4GHz beast and a low-power mobile device is not actually all that useful.

    Still, Dev Studio - you've gotta love it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      RE: Here's a secret

      "90% of the source code of DOOM has been moved to every device ever manufactured"

      Including the ZX Spectrum, I believe! What next? ZX80?

  7. Sean Timarco Baggaley

    Hang on...

    Wasn't C supposed to be a "Portable Assembly Language"?

    Wasn't Java supposed to be a "write once, run anywhere" platform?

    Wasn't modular programming supposed to make re-usable code easier to write?

    Wasn't OOP / OOD supposed to make re-usable code easier to write and use?

    Wasn't [INSERT TECHNOLOGY HERE] supposed to make it easier to target multiple platforms?

    Wasn't the Web supposed to *become* a "universal" platform?

    It's been *forty years* since the invention of the first portable programming languages. It's not news. Unavoidable UI design issues are the hard part now. A 3" screen on a device with only a number-pad and other (completely unstandardised) buttons for user input is a far cry from a laptop, or a multi-touch tablet, or an HD TV-connected games console...

  8. Anonymous Cowherder

    Gaming on the phone

    Is it just me who only plays a game on a a phone when I am sat on the, er...."special chair" at work and have a few minutes to kill? Tetris or a blockbreaker type game does this perfectly. I have a DS in the bathroom at home but despite staying longer than really necessary a quick game is all I need really.

  9. adnim Silver badge

    With a 90%

    code share all this cross platform goodness is doomed to be an homogenised focus upon those architectures which are quickest to develop for.

    Each platform and indeed device within that platform has it's own hardware dedicated to graphics and audio functions amongst other things, so in order to leverage the best from each platform device dependent code is required. And in most instances that code would certainly comprise of more than 10% of the total source.

    Microsoft are again just telling halve truths or exaggerating if you will, after all they do have product to sell.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      <title />

      Long train journeys to / from work come to mind for gaming on a small device, if one doesn't take a nap ;)

      1. G_C


        So long as you don't need to be connected to the web for more than 20 seconds...

    2. G_C
      Black Helicopters

      Tetris on the loo... good one!

      I shall never look at Tetris in the same way...

      and the box of screen wipes and keyboard cleaner goes to....

    3. some vaguely opinionated bloke
      Thumb Up


      ... it isn't just you, though my game of preference tends to be Sudoku.

      To those considering throne-based-gaming, using your boxers as a phone hammock whilst, er, "tidying up" only works well if you remember to de-hammock said phone once finished.

      1. G_C

        Sudoku.... hehe...

        Q. What do mathaticians do if they have constipation?

        A. Work it out with a penci!!!


        I always forget to de-hammock...l

  10. Anonymous Coward

    RE: With a 90%

    "Microsoft are again just telling halve truths or exaggerating if you will, after all they do have product to sell"

    If history has taught us anything it is that MS never lie!

  11. Anonymous Coward

    It's a start

    Still don't get why some cross-platform games don't allow cross-platform play so PS3's, PC's and Xbox's playing the same game title can all play together. But I suspect that's more down to MS and Sony protecting their walled gaming networks.

    What I really want is cross-game play, so mix COD and Tiger Woods golf. Brings new maps for capture the flag, and new hazards for the golfers. Do you play through, or call your own airstrike?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Malware Writers Field Day

    now you can whack all MS platforms in one easy step !

  13. b166er


    Have to disgree there Bill, plenty of games have made the transition from the desktop/console to a handheld and ae still very enjoyable. I would love to be able to play some of the Mario games etc across device Especially whilst on the 'throne'

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, but...

    Unity3D version 3.0 supports simultaneous game development for the PC, Xbox360, PS3, Wii, iPhone, iPad and Android. Game, set and match!

  15. Stu


    Isn't that nice, Microsoft are slowly SLOWLY inching their way towards good software engineering practises - platform independence is part of fundamental software engineering design for crying out loud and they're only saying it can be done between THEIR three platforms!

    Its laughable.

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