Sonic the Hedgehog: Ep II to feature synchronous gaming between Xbox & Windows Phone

Back in 2010, we first reported that Microsoft was planning to bring the ability of "three screens and a cloud" to modern devices. That involved a demonstration of playing a game on the a Windows Phone 7 Series device, pausing it and then picking it up on the Xbox 360.

Users salivated over such a feature, yet here we are in 2012 and it still does not exist between the Xbox 360, Windows Phone nor the PC. However... Sonic the Hedgehog: Episode II, due later this Spring, is evidently going to be the first title to support such a feature.

The Official Xbox Magazine site ( ran a story this evening featuring a "hands on" demo of the new Sonic game destined for Xbox 360, Playstation, iOS and Windows Phone (called erroneously "Windows Mobile 7", grrr...). At about the 4:20 mark, we can hear Ken Balough, Digital Grand Manager on Sonic Episode II, talk about this unprecedented new feature:

"...and one of the cool things about it is that the Windows Mobile 7 (sic) and the Xbox are going to be able to work in tandem in ways that are completely new. So when you pick up the Windows Mobile 7 and you'll be able to play Sonic Episode II, save it, stop, boot up your Xbox 360 and pick up right where you left off. And that's a really cool thing Microsoft has going between the devices and I'm a huge fan of it..."

Call us crazy, but that sounds exactly like the feature first demonstrated two years ago that the world has been waiting for on their phones, perhaps the coup d'état between gaming and mobile that Microsoft desperately needs.

Could this Spring be the begriming of a whole new Xbox-Windows Phone interaction? We anxiously await. Check both videos after the break...

From 2010:


Source: OXMonline; Thanks, Cory P., for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Same game progress? Does that mean no more 2 separate achievement lists for the same game?
  • I hope so, that really annoys me about Ep. 1, PvZ, and ilomilo (I'm sure there are many others).  I'm hoping that Pinball FX2 will share an acheivement list (would be even more awesome if it shared tables from each version - 360, PC, WP7).  I don't have a lot of hope for any of that though, especially after how Game Room was handled on WP7.
  • So the guys says that TWICE, and not once did OXM correct him?! That is sad news indeed... :S
  • This would definitely be alone the lines of connectivity Microsoft is capable of. Now ms needs to exploit the fact they can do this so everyone can see.
  • Sorry along:[
  • Hi Daniel, spotted a gramar mistake :-( Please correct "here" to the verb "hear" just when you start to mention Ken's speech. Awesome news by the way and fingers crossed we'll see more cross platform integration :-D
  • This is good! But it probably means only 1 set if achievements between them. . . For twice the price!!
  • Would users have to buy the game twice to play it on both?
    I think it would be clever from Microsoft to give the WP versions of games for free to those who buy the xbox version. I thing it would make a lot of xbox users buy a wp.
  • I'm thinking that with w8 and wp8 we'll get single licenses and be able to pay once for such games and dl them between both OS's and an Xbox. though, that would probably mean a game that would otherwise cost $2-$5 on just wp would now cost around $10...
  • Send that to MS suggestion or their voice it site
  • oh, thanks for reminding me of that, I was going to suggest it, but I found a similar "buy once, download everywhere" suggestion, and I voted for that
  • If you dont want to watch 4 minutes of a hedgehog running around watch the first video from 4:15 to about 4:45 for the relevant info.
    I really never got sonic, action happens so fast that you miss half the nice gfx and personally I find it unplayable on phones for those reasons coupled with the small screen size.  Guess im just getting old :)
  • lol, yup you are.  Its a good game.  There's a completely frustrating puzzle in it that damn near made me throw my phone (and xbox controller) but still fun nonetheless.
  • Doesn't Sony do this now with the vita? They should be able to extend that to their phones as well.
  • Nice feature but as usual just has us wanting more. I for example want this for Fruit Ninja but I do not want to have to pay for FN on the Xbox and the WP or at the least recognise via some kind of discount that I have purchased both items if buying against the same Live Id and applying the discount at purchase.
  • They are different games, so yea? your going to have to pay for both its how the world has worked for rather a long time now pretty sure they are both under 10 bucks anyway its not like they are asking for the full RRP of an arcade game which is like 10-15
  • Game Room did offer a discount if you bought the Xbox and PC versions of games at the same time. I imagine they'll do that again for these kinds of games. Not free, but discounted.
  • Eventually they just made every Game Room purchase work for both platforms (360 and PC), with no extra charge for the cross-platform license.
  • Cool
  • Cool we need that
  • I realize that it would be twice the code, but it would be nice to see separate apps on our phones for things like this. One is the game, itself, that doesn't link to the XBox (for those who don't have one or don't want the game on XBox) and one that is the companion app for our phones. This app could even be a different price to appease users. That way, people could choose whether they want 2x the achievements and if they want to sync to the XBox. :)
  • People find the funniest ways to complain about things with Microsoft.  If you had an N64 and a DS, are you going to write to Nintendo that you shouldn't have to pay for the game to be ported to another device because you bought Mario 64 on launch day? 
    Development costs money.  Publishing costs money.  It wouldn't make sense to charge one price for both games if you didn't offer a console only and mobile device only option.  You would inconvience too many people.  Paying for where you want to play it make sense. 
    Last point.  I'm glad we finally got to this point.  Crackdown 2, Fable, Full House Poker all had some phone/console element to it.  Frankly, I'm surprised that Full House Poker didn't take the biggest jump into cross-platform pool but if it's Sonic, then that sets a pretty good precident.
  • 4 paragraphs down its referred to as windows mobile... That's so 1999....