Microsoft is about to share its well-publicized plans for bringing its Xbox Live online gaming service to several new platforms, namely iOS, Android and even Nintendo Switch. The Xbox maker broke the news via a Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019 panel preview posting.
Essentially, Microsoft is creating a software developer kit (SDK) for game and operating system (OS) developers to incorporate the Xbox Live service into their products. This will allow developers to incorporate Xbox Live’s suite of game achievements, matchmaking, social systems and more in their games and devices.
Microsoft’s SDK will include its PlayFab collection of back end tools aimed to speed up the process for developers of games with online play.
This news is potentially huge for online gaming, but it’s been a long time coming. Cross-platform play between consoles, PCs and even phones has been a growing trend in online gaming, with Microsoft in part blazing the trail particularly with partnerships bringing Minecraft to iOS, Android and even Nintendo Switch.
The subject of cross play actually to a head recently with Fortnite, during which we saw Microsoft and Sony sniping at one another over the latter’s reticence to allow cross play on its PS4 consoles. Sony eventually relented specifically for Fortnite, but notice how Microsoft failed to mention PlayStation in its Xbox Live plans?
Posting details of the panel was clearly intentional so as to drum up buzz, and indeed it has. We’ll be waiting to learn more during GDC 2019, which runs between March 18 – 22.
Via Windows Central