Microsoft will soon allow game developers to integrate Xbox Live into games that run across PC, Xbox, Android, iOS and Nintendo Switch.
According to a new report from Windows Central, a session description from the 2019 Game Developers Conference seems to have blown a big upcoming Microsoft reveal: Xbox Live is heading to mobile devices and the Nintendo Switch.
A Microsoft-presented panel at the GDC, called “Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across iOS, Android, Switch, Xbox, and PC,” will apparently cover the forthcoming expansion of Microsoft’s online platform.
“Xbox Live is about to get MUCH bigger,” the description reads. “Xbox Live is expanding from 400M gaming devices and a reach to over 68M active players to over 2B devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDK. Get a first look at the SDK to enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs.”
Cross-platform play remains a core mission for Microsoft going into 2019, it seems.
“This [session] will break down barriers for developers that want their communities to mingle more freely across platforms,” the GDC description continues. “Combined with PlayFab gaming services, this means less work for game developers and more time to focus on making games fun.”
This plays right into Microsoft’s playbook; create a service, expand it to new platforms, and then grow its user base. This expansion of Live means that, if a developer implements the features, you will be able to earn achievements, access your friends list, and more from devices other than Microsoft apps and services.
Taking Xbox Live to other consoles seems like the natural next step after the cross-platform play that exists within certain games, such as Fortnite or Minecraft. Sony has been less cooperative when it comes to cross-platform play and allowing other services on to its PlayStation Network, and it appears this Xbox Live expansion will not apply to PS4 as yet.
In related news, Microsoft has revealed Project xCloud, a realization of their plans to bring their video game titles, via streaming, to “any screen” while “empowering YOU, the gamers, to be at the center of your gaming experience.”