Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Industry | By Dora Warner

Xbox Live Will Expand to Android and iOS Devices

Xbox Live Will Expand to Android and iOS Devices

As for which games and to what extent those games will support mobile-Xbox cross-play will be determined by the companies building the titles.

Earlier today, Microsoft announced a new cross-platform mobile software development kit (SDK) for game developers to build Xbox Live functionality into their mobile games. It will be up to the developers to pick which parts of Xbox Live they want to integrate into their games.

Microsoft officially reveals Xbox Live for Android and iOS, but not Nintendo Switch
Microsoft is bringing Xbox Live to mobile games on iOS and Android

"If you've watched us for the past few years, we've taken a very inclusive approach". On Nintendo Switch, the Bedrock version of Minecraft also uses Xbox Live to enable crossplay with other platforms.

"Historically, our lineup of game developer tools has been varied and lived in pockets all across Microsoft", Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft corporate vice president of gaming cloud said in a briefing ahead of the big Game Developers Conference this week.

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What this announcement makes no mention of is Nintendo Switch support for Xbox Live, which was mentioned in Microsoft's initial tease of the GDC 2019 panel discussion regarding this Xbox Live expansion. Why?

Microsoft is doubling down on gaming inside its cloud division, bringing together several developer tools and services under one umbrella and introducing new capabilities from a key acquisition made previous year. In doing so, Xbox Live has the potential of reaching billions of people across the globe, though, app developers will need a good reason to include it.

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As reported by The Verge, that means mobile devs will be able to imbue their games with features like achievements, gamerscore, friend lists, clubs, hero stats, and some family settings. "Developers don't really have time to go searching for tools, and we know it's been hard to navigate and take full advantage of everything we have to offer". But as the adage says, better late than never.

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