Microsoft this morning showed a new way share game content across Xbox 360 and Windows Phone. One Microsoft executive described it as an example of a larger strategy to use companion devices to supplement games on the Microsoft console.
The demo, shown at the company’s GameFest conference in downtown Seattle, bridged the upcoming Kinectimals interactive children’s game for Windows Phone with the same game for Xbox 360. As shown on stage, gamers will be able to use the cameras in the Kinect sensor and Windows Phone to scan on-screen QR codes that allow customized content to be quickly shared back and forth between the two versions.
In the demo, accessories added to a cat in the Windows Phone game were transferred to the same cat in the Xbox version. News site WPCentral had previously tracked down details of the cross-platform Kinectimals integration, but this appears to be the first public demo.
David Treadwell, the Microsoft vice president who introduces the demo in the video above, told the crowd of game developers at the GameFest keynote in Seattle that it’s an example of the “connected companion experiences” that Microsoft is aiming to bring to its gaming initiatives.
Other major areas of focus for the company’s games group are natural user interfaces (centered around the Kinect motion sensor) and cloud services, Treadwell said.
The cross-platform integration between the phone and console is part of a broader push by the company to create stronger ties between Xbox Live service, Windows Phone and Windows. Treadwell didn’t talk about Windows gaming plans during his keynote but said the Windows team will have more details at the company’s Build conference for software developers in Anaheim, Calif., next month.
Microsoft didn’t say specifically why the approach used QR codes vs. Microsoft’s competing Tag bar codes, but noted that the implementation was by Kinectimals developer Frontier. A different demo during the same keynote did reference Tag.
Earlier this year, Microsoft showed a video depicting Windows Phone as an alternative controller/input for the Xbox 360, in conjunction with the Kinect motion controller. The video was described at the time as a technology preview, with no timeframe for release.
No mention was made of those plans during this morning’s keynote address.