Microsoft to bring Xbox Live to Switch, iOS and Android
posted Saturday Feb 9, 2019 by Scott Ertz
When Xbox Live first hit the market, it changed the way people played videogames forever. Over the years, the service introduced a whole collection of features, including in-game and cross-game chat, social networking features, a unified matchmaking platform, achievements, and more. With the introduction of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, Xbox Live features expanded from the console to PC and mobile. Even games like Microsoft Solitare, which has been around since the beginning of Windows, had the ability to enhance with achievements.
According to a now sanitized listing for a session at Game Developers Conference, Microsoft is going to expand the reach of Xbox Live once again. The original title of the session was titled, "Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across iOS, Android, Switch, Xbox, and PC," which can still be seen in the URL for the session. The title gives a lot of information about where Xbox Live will soon be available. However, the original description is much more detailed,
Now Xbox Live is about to get MUCH bigger. 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.
So, with the release of the XDK, game developers will be able to bring the unified Xbox Live matchmaking system to their mobile games, as well as chat and social features to games on almost all other platforms. There is, of course, one major platform missing: PlayStation. That is likely because of Sony's infamous dismissal of anything cross-platform. Even if Microsoft were to allow XBL capabilities on PS4 titles, Sony would likely prevent publishing those games for the platform. However, Sony's position has shifted slightly in the past few months, with Fortnite accounts no longer being locked to PlayStation, so it's possible that one day XBL will be available everywhere.