An Icelandic developer will attempt to bridge the gap between computers and consoles with its forthcoming Dust 514 this summer. Once this occurs it will be the first time users of two different platforms could play cooperatively breaking that barrier that has long stood in the way of gamers.
When it comes to uniting gamers across multiple platforms the video game industry has been very segregated. Even if you have a game that is released on multiple systems it doesn't mean you can join with another person and play. John has an Xbox 360, Roy has a PlayStation and Lisa has a PC, but these three can't play together. We are all playing online, but we just can't do it together, until now.
This is where CCP steps in. CCP is a Reykjavik, Iceland-based creator of of the popular massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) Eve Online for PC's. Dust 514 will be released by CCP this summer.
Dust 514 is an expansion of Eve created for PlayStation 3 users. Once it is released it will be the first time that MMORPG users of two different platforms can play together, Dust on the PS3 and Eve on the PC.
One stumbling block at least for MMORPGs is that of controls. MMORPGs are played using the PC keyboard and mouse with a multitude of commands coming from the keyboard. With the limited number of buttons on a console, this made translating the same functionality hard to achieve. To combat this issue, CCP created Dust, which is a console-specific game that can communicate with Eve.
As a result there are two different styles of games in the same universe.
Eve is set in space while Dust is a first-person shooter. What happens in one game affects the other. If you have a shoot-out between clans in Dust this can affect Eve alliances. Eve players can hire Dust users for game currency as well. Players in Dust can also call for orbital strikes from MMO players in Eve.
Dust will be distributed for free through the PlayStation Network and gain money through a transaction system where players can buy resources from the game. Dust will be a purely online only experience, there will not be an offline portion.
The Tech-Stew Take Home
Dust 514 combined with Eve certainly marks a first for gamers, where gamers from two different worlds can play together, each affecting the other. This could represent a turning point for some game makers, perhaps at least future MMORPGs will follow with similar cooperative games in the future across platforms.
However, we are still a ways off from seeing a title appear on multiple platforms and being able to play players from those other platforms online on a regular basis. This is probably due to the huge development tasks that would be needed for such a venture or the stark differences between online platforms and corporate concerns. Not only that but PC players have a bit of an edge over the console players with more precise keyboard and mouse combinations, for first-person shooters anyway. Shadowrun in 2007 was the first first-person shooter that melded the PC and Xbox 360 gameplay and now Dust 514 in the MMORPG realm.
Either way, this summer will mark a first for gamers once Dust 514 is released. PlayStation users who have been lucky enough to get beta keys have been able to test out Dust 514 already. Take a look at the trailers for Dust 514 below.
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