Microsoft has officially confirmed its plans to bring its Xbox Live service to iOS and Android devices, as the company launches a new cross-platform mobile software development kit (SDK) to enable Xbox Live on any iOS or Android game.
This will allow features such as achievements, Gamerscore, hero stats, friend lists, and clubs to work with mobile titles as developers are able to pick and choose which features of the service they want to implement into their games.
Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft’s gaming cloud chief said in a media briefing this week:
We believe so strongly in community, and Xbox Live really being at the heart of our gaming community. If you watch what we’ve done, especially with Minecraft, over the past few years we’ve taken Xbox Live to as many platforms as Minecraft is on as possible. Really uniting all those communities together with a consistent singular experience for those gamers.
While there was previously talk of Microsoft bringing Xbox Live features to Nintendo Switch as well as mobile devices, Choudhry confirmed that they don’t have anything to share “today.” Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, as Microsoft had specifically mentioned enabling this feature for the Switch prior to this recent announcement.
Whether the Switch functionality has been delayed or outright cancelled remains to be seen, but I’d bet Nintendo and Microsoft are still working a few things out. It would be a huge move, after all.
As for the prospect of Xbox Live features hitting the PS4, all Choudhry would say is that Microsoft is “willing to partner with the industry as much as we possibly can.” Make of that what you will.
Microsoft has been pushing towards a future free of console limitations for a while now, and today’s announcement is just further evidence that the tech giant is dreaming dreams of a “Netflix for games” style future.
Earlier in the week, the company also revealed that it would be bringing Halo: The Master Chief Collection to PC this year.