Tech

Microsoft teases cross-platform Xbox Live

Microsoft teases cross-platform Xbox Live

The biggest change here is that Microsoft is seemingly willing to offer Xbox Live cross-platform services to third-party developers.

"Get a first look at the SDK to enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs".

The annual Game Developers Conference, GDC, is taking place mid-March, and a talk scheduled by Microsoft has revealed something incredibly interesting.

Saying that's a significant expansion of Xbox Live would be an understatement.

The move is another example of Microsoft working to sell tools to developers, rather than trying to win by making hit games and consoles themselves.

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The page notes that the new development kit will let players take their "gaming achievement history, their friends list, their clubs, and more with them to nearly every screen". The platform is now a one-stop-shop for multiplayer gaming on Xbox; it enables multiplayer in most games, offers leaderboards, and provides various social tools as well.

The session page doesn't specifically mention PlayStation among the supported platforms, so it's not yet clear if games that use the SDK will silo off players on PlayStation into their own pool. "Xbox Live is expanding from 400M gaming devices and a reach to over 68M active players to over 2B devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDK". Cross-platform play between consoles, PCs and even phones has been a growing trend in online gaming, with Microsoft in part blazing the trail particularly with partnerships bringing Minecraft to iOS, Android and even Nintendo Switch.

"Then talk about Microsoft, which is a huge company with huge aspirations and this is a business we are in with great leaders, great teams, great fans".

Information on the new cross-platform development kit that Microsoft plans to unveil was spotted on the schedule for the Game Developers Conference 2019 event by Twitter user Avers (via Windows Central).