Following Microsoft’s Wednesday presentation about their “xCloud”
software initiative, the software giant has officially announced that their
Xbox live service would be coming to iOS and Android devices.
While the move has been hinted at for a while now, Microsoft
has only recently released the toolkit (or SDK) that will allow mobile
developers to bring Xbox live functionality to their games. Xbox live features
include Gamerscore, hero stats, friend lists, clubs, achievement, and more. The
SDK also means that future cross-platform play between PC and Xbox will be more
accessible than ever, opening the door to unpresented functionality and cross-platform
However, this hasn’t been the first time that Xbox live has made its way to the mobile gaming scene. Previously, certain Microsoft games like Minecraft have included single-login functionality that have used Microsoft live services to provide streamlined functionality between consoles, PCs and mobile devices.
The SDK launch comes right after the company’s demonstration
of their “xCloud”
game streaming service. The service seems to be yet another attempt to
universalize the Microsoft ecosystem and provide gamers the option to play AAA
titles on screens that can fit in your pocket. Both xCloud and the mobile SDK
are part of a larger initiative under the Microsoft Game Stack moniker.
Kareem Choudhry, the chief executive behind Microsoft’s
cloud gaming division has explained that they “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.”
However, if you were hoping to see Xbox live on the Switch, you
might want to hold your breath.
“Our goal is to really unite the 2 billion gamers of the
world and we’re big fans of our Xbox Live community, but we don’t have any
specific announcements as it relates to Switch today,” explained Choudhry.
“If you’ve watched us for the past few years, we’ve taken a
very inclusive approach. Phil [Spencer] has been very proactive on issues like
crossplay, cross-progression, and uniting gamer networks, and we’re willing to
partner with the industry as much as we possibly can.”
In short, while it might be a while until Xbox Live hits the
Switch and PlayStation consoles, Microsoft is still open to the idea. We’ll
have to wait and see how PlayStation and Nintendo react in the future to properly
gage how future inclusion might work.