Microsoft to interface Xbox 360 with PCs, phones

— 2:36 AM on May 10, 2006

Microsoft has announced a new online service that will allow cell phones and PCs to interface with Xbox 360 games. Dubbed Live Anywhere, the service will be integrated with the upcoming Windows Vista operating system, which is due out in January 2007. In an E3 presentation on Tuesday, Microsoft Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said Microsoft's vision is that "each platform plays its own role." Two examples were shown of how gamers could interact beyond the console environment:

In a demonstration, an Xbox 360 gamer using Live Anywhere was able to send an invitation to a friend on a PC. After the PC user agreed, the two connected for a cross-platform online gun battle.

In another example, a race car's stats were modified on a cellular phone, its appearance was edited in a paint program on the PC and then it was raced on a track on the Xbox 360.

Gates added that Microsoft was in a "unique position," allegedly being "the only company that can pull this [type of service] off." A report on Microsoft's conference by IGN claims the service will "roll out when Vista ships," although it's unclear whether it will cost users extra.
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