Microsoft plans to further expnd the reach of Xbox Live with the relese of a new cross-platform XDK, designed to enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch.
This GDC 2019 Session will be hosted by Microsoft's Team Xbox members Jeffrey Shi (Principal Program Manager) and Ramsey Khadder (Software Engineer). Here's an excerpt from the session brief:
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. 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.
As Microsoft later makes clear that this isn't a toolkit designed exclusively for Xbox Live social features. Microsoft wants to better enable game developers who want to execute a comprehensive multi-platform strategy for their titles:
Game producers looking to plan a multi-platform strategy that brings the most active, engaged players into a community where they can watch, buy, play, pause, and continue their games from one device to the next on top of the most reliable social and multiplayer network in the world.
Xbox Live cross-platform SDK will allow developers to integrate friends, achievements, clubs and multiplayer functionality into existing games.
Of course, do not expect to see Microsoft to unveil the titles that will be supported on different platforms as of now. This initiative doesn't mean that all Xbox games are going to instantly be accessible across Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android devices.
The move will allow the company to step outside Xbox and traditional PC gaming to capture mobile users. With Microsoft xCloud, the company’s game streaming service that will be available for trial later this year, it seems like Microsoft has massive plans for gamers.
Microsoft already has momentum when it comes to embracing the cross-platform philosophy -- this recent Minecraft commercial for Switch being just one example.