Microsoft releases its first Xbox-branded Android game

Microsoft was insistent about one thing during its E3 2012 presentation: Xbox Smart Glass works with ALL DEVICES. There are certain words that start with “I” and involve fruit that the company was careful not to say out loud, but its message was clear: Smart Glass will work on iOS, Android, and Windows handsets. The company doesn’t care who made your tablet or phone, it just wants you to use the software.

Of course the company’s been building up to a multiplatform future on mobile devices for some time. Around CES in January, Microsoft said that it would be bringing Xbox Live titles to both iOS and Android. The very first of these games hit the Google Play store this week. A new version of the Xbox 360’s virtual pet game Kinectimals for Android was released on Thursday.

The release is notable not just because Microsoft is finally releasing games on non-Windows platforms, but also because it shows that Microsoft is interested in disseminating Kinect-based brands apart from the actual Kinect device. Kinectimals for Android is evidence of a dramatic shift in Microsoft’s older policies of brand uniformity. How that shift will play out for the company will be interesting to watch.

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