Microsoft is preparing to expand cross-platform support for its Xbox Live online service to gamers on Android and iOS mobile devices and on the Nintendo Switch, as revealed by a scheduled session at the upcoming Game Developers Conference.
A session titled Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across iOS, Android, Switch, Xbox, and PC was spotted by Avers from G4G Media on the Game Developers Conference schedule published online. The session’s description revealed that it will be presented by Xbox Principal Program Manager Jeffrey Shi and Xbox Software Engineer Ramsey Khadder.
The Game Developers Conference sessions will preview a new cross-platform SDK that will allow game developers to connect players on the Xbox One, PC, Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch. Once cross-platform support is expanded on Xbox Live, players will be able to access their gaming achievements, friends list, clubs, and more on several devices.
The session will target game services engineers who are looking to save time and expand their customer base by allowing Microsoft’s Xbox Live to handle multiplayer interactions, and game producers who are planning a multi-platform strategy that will allow players to access their games on different devices.
Microsoft already has a handful of games with Xbox Live support across multiple platforms. One of these titles is Minecraft, which requires an Xbox Live login on Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch. Microsoft has reserved cross-platform support for its own games, but it looks like it is now planning to expand the feature to more titles.
Xbox Live cross-platform support on Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch is likely not yet coming soon, but this is still a major move for Microsoft as it continues its shift to a strategy of games as a service. Other initiatives under this strategy include the Xbox Game Pass subscription program, the Project xCloud game streaming service, and the rumored next-generation Xbox that will exclusively stream games.
Microsoft’s plan for cross-platform support does not include the PlayStation 4, as Sony only recently opened up its console to cross-play, starting with Fortnite in September. It appears that Microsoft will soon be pulling ahead even more with its cross-platform SDK for Xbox Live.