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1st-Party Microsoft Xbox, PC Games Coming to iOS, Android?

By - Source: Reuters | B 10 comments

First-party Microsoft games for PC and Xbox are coming to Android and iOS.

Nikkkei (via Reuters) reports that Microsoft plans to bring its first-party Xbox console and PC games to rival platforms iOS and Android this fiscal year. Japanese smartphone game maker KLab Inc. will reportedly be responsible for these ports, the first of which will be a free-to-play version of Age of Empires by the end of fiscal 2013.

The Japanese paper reports that additional titles will follow although the details are next to zero at this point. The original Age of Empires was developed by Ensemble Studios and launched on PC way back in 1997. We've already seen PC games from that era reduced down to run on smartphone and tablet-sized screens, so this should be no surprise game-wise.

But if the report is indeed true, it's a bold move for Microsoft who has thus far seemingly kept its IPs to itself. But there is likely a broader picture here than just Android and iOS: Microsoft may be porting these games for that multi-platform experience it's talked about for quite a while. Given Xbox Live's closed nature, actual multiplayer play won't be in the cards, but rather leaderboards and achievements.

We can't but feel a little excitement about the possibility of a mobile Halo, Fable, Forza Motorsport or MechAssault. The company already offers a mobile version of Kinectimals for both platforms, and Wordament for Apple's iOS.

Microsoft is the second of three console makers eying smartphones and tablets. Sony attempted its hand through the launch of its Xperia PLAY smartphone and Crash Bandicoot, but the company abandoned its plans to bring PlayStation classics to mobile and turned to originals on PlayStation Mobile instead (here in the States anyway).

Nintendo still has no plans of bringing first-party content to mobile devices despite investor feedback. Nintendo senior communications director Charlie Scibetta recently said the best way to leverage its brands is by releasing them on Nintendo hardware. Currently that doesn't seem to work for the Wii U, but the 3DS has reportedly become the top-selling console as of May, beating out the Xbox 360 thanks to Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Donkey Kong Country Returns and the then-upcoming Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

Microsoft currently allows Xbox 360 owners to control their consoles through Xbox SmartGlass for Android and iOS. Users can use their tablet or smartphone like a touch-based remote, and view expanded features offered by games, movies and TV shows. There's also My Xbox LIVE that allows users to track and compare their achievements, connect with friends and modify their Avatar, and SkyDrive which provides access to the user's cloud drive.

UPDATE: Microsoft has acknowledged licensing Age of Empires, but isn't admitting to anything beyond that at this time.

This thread is closed for comments
  • 0 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , June 26, 2013 7:23 AM
    I want platform unification; buy software once and run it on any hardware that has enough processing power and memory. Hurry up and make it happen. No more exclusivity.
  • 0 Hide
    Spooderman , June 26, 2013 7:23 AM
    Age of Empires, oh boy.
  • 0 Hide
    SchizoFrog , June 26, 2013 7:36 AM
    I find this story rather bogus as there is no mention of these ports coming to mobile devices with WP8. Surely MS would include their own mobile OS?
  • Display all 10 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    squirrelboy , June 26, 2013 7:37 AM
    there is NO way Microsoft is going to port a game to a Linux based OS.
    secondly, free to play will probably mean free to pay to win
  • 0 Hide
    ram1009 , June 26, 2013 8:07 AM
    Let's see if I've got this right. Microsoft is going to let itards play their Xbox 360 games but not Windows gamers I've heard of shooting yourself in the foot but Microsoft is aiming a little higher.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 26, 2013 10:09 AM
    Wow, way to kill off their phone OS!
  • 0 Hide
    SirGCal , June 26, 2013 10:29 AM
    And they continue to wonder why we enjoy Steam so much. Buy it once, use it on anything it can be used on. Linux, OSx, Windows, etc. As well as being used offline once installed and verified... (accept batman which I refuse to buy...)
  • 0 Hide
    hixbot , June 26, 2013 10:53 AM
    I can't wait to play Gears of War on my cell phone.
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , June 26, 2013 5:16 PM
    So when will PCs get access to first party Microsoft Games?
    Also will these games even run on iOS or Android? x86 games are developed on the most powerful and efficient architecture available. I don't think good things will happen porting it to Objective C and Java. Especially since most of these devices don't come with the processing brute strength of even a decade old PC.
  • 0 Hide
    hollyfoster37 , June 26, 2013 8:07 PM
    what Stephanie implied I'm blown away that some one able to earn $4670 in 1 month on the computer. have you read this web site
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