Microsoft planning 'buy once, play on any device' gaming portal

Xbox 360 games on my console, smartphone, tablet or TV? Yes, please! Microsoft is said to be planning a "universal gaming portal" that'll let you start and finish your Xbox 360 games (full ones) on any device of your choice by next year.

The era of connectivity is truly upon us. What was once a dream is now achievable, mostly due to how powerful smartphones and tablets have become.

We've heard about Microsoft working on a new interconnected single ecosystem before, but that was to unify its platforms — including Windows. The new word is that Microsoft is focusing its efforts on bringing Xbox 360 to any platform (Microsoft supported ones, of course).

The idea of games being device agnostic is anything but new. However, many have tried and few have executed it and actually made good on their promise.

Sony's PlayStation Certified program that lets original PlayStation games be played on any supported Android smartphone, tablet or official PlayStation hardware is a start, but it's hardly taken off.

This won't be the first try for Microsoft, either. It dipped its toes into cross-platform gaming when it connected simplified Xbox Live games with its Windows Phone 7 smartphones. The integration is limited, but it's no doubt a sector in which Microsoft wants to win.

With Microsoft having no plans to release a portable Xbox 360 and sales of Windows Phone 7 smartphones called disappointing, shoving Xbox 360 into every Windows Phone 7 smartphone and Windows 8 tablet might just work to lull consumers over.

A universal gaming portal might just be the smartest thing Microsoft's done in a long time.

ElectronicTheatre, via MCV

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