Published: Mon, February 04, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Microsoft's Bringing Xbox Live to Smartphones and the Nintendo Switch

Microsoft's Bringing Xbox Live to Smartphones and the Nintendo Switch

Microsoft has revealed plans to bring Xbox Live to more platforms and expand cross-platform play. "Any Console Native game now shipping in the Microsoft Store on Xbox will be capable of streaming to a mobile device".

Saying that's a significant expansion of Xbox Live would be an understatement.

GDC attendees can get a first glimpse of the software development kit (SDK) which will allow them to use Xbox Live for not just Xbox titles and Microsoft PC titles, but also iOS, Nintendo Switch, and Android games. This will include bringing Xbox Live to other platforms, including iOS, Android and the Nintendo Switch.

The news comes via a schedule for the Game Developers Conference. The listing said Xbox Live users are already engaged on Microsoft's Xbox and PC platforms and listed achievements, friends lists, and clubs among other features as the perks of having Xbox Live support on non-Windows devices.

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Microsoft says "Combined with PlayFab gaming services, this means less work for game developers and more time to focus on making games fun".

Currently, Microsoft has Xbox Live available across 400 million devices, by opening things up further, Microsoft will be able to reach even more potential customers. Almost half a billion devices isn't anything to sneeze at, but quadrupling that number to reach 2 billion devices by supporting additional devices would make Xbox Live the most expansive platform around. This SDK (or XDK as Microsoft is calling it) will allow game developers to have Xbox Live achievements be built into games regardless of their platform, along with achievements and multiplayer.

It wasn't immediately clear from the session description when consumers could expect to see the functionality in the wild, and Microsoft representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

We'll find out more once GDC 2019 is underway between March 18-22 in San Francisco.

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