Microsoft Announces Xbox Live for Android and iOS

Xbox Live On Switch

Microsoft wants to use its Azure services such as PlayFab, Xbox Live, and soon, Project xCloud, to help developers reach gamers wherever they are, on whatever device they want to use.

According to The Verge who was on hand for the announcement, Xbox Live for Android will offer developers the ability to build party systems, messaging, Xbox achievements, Microsoft sign-in, as well as cloud saves into mobile games. Despite previous mentions, Nintendo Switch has not been included in the scheme right now, meaning either plans have changed, or it's a bit too early to be talking about that platform yet. When I inquired about the timeframe for Nintendo Switch support, Microsoft said it has nothing to announce at this time except that the company's philosophy is to bring its tools to developers wherever they want them. After all, the Xbox brand's best asset is its online functionality and the Live service has proven to be the best-in-class online gaming platform in the console segment.

Microsoft has been pretty clear about its intentions to turn Xbox into more of a platform than a standalone console.

Microsoft Game Stack

Developers will not be forced to integrate every single aspect of Xbox Live in their games.

A couple of weeks ago, we learned from an upcoming Microsoft session at the Game Developers Conference that Microsoft was planning a major expansion of its Xbox Live gaming network. "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".

What we do know now is that this Xbox Live SDK will bring trusted game identity security controls and will allow developers to pick and choose which Xbox Live features they want to include in their games. The company did not have any announcements related to Nintendo Switch as well.

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