MMOs "need to be on consoles" - Turbine

Not necessarily cross-platform, though.

Turbine chief executive Jim Crowley has said that his company isn't just interested in developing MMOs for consoles - he thinks it's vital.

Speaking at the Tokyo Game Show Forum, Crowley said, "The MMO needs to become a multi-platform tool. The view of Turbine is that MMOs necessarily need to be on consoles."

Turbine is known to be working on a console MMO at the moment, strongly suspected to be a version of Lord of the Rings Online.

Crowley's vision is of MMOs running simultaneously on PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and "eventually" on Wii. However, although these versions will "speak to" each other, he thinks cross-platform play will be difficult, and perhaps unnecessary.

"There are uniquenesses to each platform that suggest that the actual gameplay needs to be optimised for each platform," Crowley said.

"So cross-platform play becomes a challenge. It's not clear to us that cross-platform play is necessary, or even desirable."

Instead, Crowley envisages that the different versions of MMOs will be connected by a social networking "layer" on the web - such as the Facebook-style LOTRO site, due to launch this year, that he showed in his presentation.

"The social network then becomes that 'glue spot' where all players can share that experience," he said.

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