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MS talks cross-platform

'Floodgates' to open in '08.

Microsoft today unveiled its roadmap for PC and Xbox 360 cross-platform gaming, predicting that "the floodgates will open" for software playable across the two formats by 2008.

Speaking in a session at the Games Convention Developer Conference in Leipzig, Microsoft UK third-party account manager Steven Blackburn offered delegates an update on the firm's Xbox Live service. He also provided details of future plans for marketplace, Live Arcade and the Vista and 360-linking Live Anywhere service.

Blackburn confirmed that the first truly cross-platform playable title, Shadowrun, will launch in early 2007 - before revealing that Microsoft will incorporate a number of online-only gamer achievements to help deliver "first blood" in persuading gamers to try out the online functionality between PC and console.

Blackburn added that the first third-party cross-platform content would arrive in autumn 2007, by which time the application and certification process will have been finalised, with the "floodgates to open for all titles" in 2008.

Elsewhere in the presentation, entitled 'Xbox Live - Now' and in the Future', Microsoft claimed that 80 per cent of connected Xbox 360 owners are using Marketplace, while 30 per cent use Microsoft points to purchase content with an average of 25 items downloaded per user.

Blackburn added that 65 per cent of connected 360 users have tried Arcade, with over five million downloads from the service already made.

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Johnny Minkley

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Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.

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