The age-old war of mouse-and-keyboard versus gamepad has claimed yet another casualty. According to Voodoo PC founder Rahul Sood, Microsoft was attempting to bridge the gap between Xbox 360 and PC “many, many months ago” with a larger initiative that would have allowed gamers on both sides of the great divide to bond in the best way possible: by blowing each other into bloody chunks in games like Unreal and Gears of War. So basically, think the now long-deceased Shadowrun revival, but, you know, with matches that actually have other people in them.
So, what happened? This:
“I've heard from reliable sources that during the development they brought together the best console gamers to play mediocre PC gamers at the same game... and guess what happened? They pitted console gamers with their 'console' controller, against PC gamers with their keyboard and mouse,” Sood wrote on his blog.
“The console players got destroyed every time. So much so that it would be embarrassing to the XBOX team in general had Microsoft launched this initiative.”
Sood's not entirely sure if that's the sole reason Microsoft decided to burn its bridge, but it's his best guess. He also speculates that triple-A PC game development could've gotten a new lease on life had the initiative not bitten the big one.
Granted, perhaps tossing all its easily shattered eggs into a first-person shooter-centric basket wasn't such a great idea on Microsoft's part. After all, that's kind of mouse-and-keyboard's bread-and-butter. Even then, though, there's a simple solution: mouse-and-keyboard support for the Xbox 360. That definitely would've evened the playing field. Or how about specific servers/playlists for people with mouse-and-keyboard and those without?
Regardless, we're guessing other complications were the nail in this initiative's coffin, or Microsoft pulled the plug because the idea clashed too much with its current business model. Either way, it's a damn shame.