Yesterday saw the announcement that portal 2 would be available on both PS3 and the PC if purchased in the PS3 format. Not to mention a huge array of other features such as saved games being uploaded to the steam cloud and be accessed by both the PS3 and the PC. This is the first time we’ve ever seen a console interact directly with a PC. But it doesn’t end there, valve also announced that players of both the PS3 and PC version of the game will be able to directly interact with each other in the new coperative mode.
This is something that gamers are being wanting for years. The ability to play across multiple platforms. But why has it taking so long to get to this stage? We’ve known for a long long time that the technology has been available. Recently valve has also managed to successfully merged both Mac and PC players interacting on the same playing field. But we’ve known for a long while but the technology is available for this to happen. There is nothing to stop console and PC players interacting on the same servers, especially if using valves source engine. So why is it never been done before?
A while ago Microsoft toyed with the idea, they even went as far as to implement a prototype version of gears of War two where the PC players could directly interact with the console players. But this idea was scrapped very very quickly due to one massive floor in the system. The PC players were better. Now I know you’re about to say, “this is just you saying you’re better than people who play Halo”. Not in the slightest. Microsoft came to the conclusion that no matter how good the console game was they couldn’t beat the precision of a mouse and keyboard combination. This is something that the PC gamers have been ranting about for years. So it came to no surprise that Microsoft came to the same conclusion.
So what makes valve think that they can get away with it in portal 2? What makes them think that they can succeed where Microsoft failed. What makes them think they can successfully integrate PS3 and PC players into the same environment without it being insanely unfair and inbalanced. Well once again, valve did the smart thing by not pitching the two players against each other. The interaction between the PS3 and the PC is only the cooperative level, so the weaknesses and strengths of each system do not directly conflict with each other. Sure there may be a few times where PC player may be waiting for the PS3 player to do something correctly. But hopefully valves level design team working on overdrive, those should be few and far between.
So what will it take them to gaming mediums to finally interact in a competitive and regular basis. Well at this point, nothing short of a miracle. But seeing as valve is pushing it in the right direction maybe, just maybe, we might see console players and PC players directly interacting on a regular basis. For you see….
I have a dream of PS3 and Xbox Players Gaming hand in hand with players on the Mac and PC. I have a dream that one day gamers will rise up and live out the true meaning of our creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all gaming mediums are created equal.
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