From today, the free to play Dust 514 on Playstation 3 will share its test server with EVE Online on PC, finally joining the two games at the digital hip and facilitating some of the most interesting and ambitious cross-platform multiplayer functionality ever attempted. This is sort of momentous, a milestone for gaming that can be shared by console and PC gamers alike. The MMO and FPS now occupy the same virtual universe, allowing real EVE Online pilots to rain down orbital strikes on real Dust 514 soldiers, or real Dust 514 soldiers to gun down spacecraft in another game using orbital artillery outposts. This is history in the making. Awesome history.
The post on the Dust 514 blog details some of the features included in the Precursor update to the Dust 514 beta.
Orbital Strikes are where the two games currently overlap most obviously. Dust 514's Precursor update allows squad leaders to call in powerful artillery strikes from orbiting (and automated) War Barges overhead, once certain battle conditions have been met. "In the near future" however, Dust 514 players will be able to call upon real EVE Online players on PC to assist in FPS battles on PS3, in a beautiful, inspiring display of synergy and lasers. The latter kind of orbital strike will vary in strength and accuracy based on the skills of the Dust 514 player and the hardware of the EVE Online player, with well-matched players capable of orbital strikes far more powerful than those of an AI War Barge.
When they're not trying to explode one another, Dust and EVE players can live-chat and send in-game mail to one another across games. The update also adds keyboard and mouse support to the PS3 shooter, thank goodness.
For the PS3'd among you, beta registration is currently open on the Dust 514 beta site.