It looks like Microsoft is planning to spread the Xbox Live love around — and to some rather unexpected places.
The company is currently preparing Xbox Live support for not only mobile devices — both iOS and Android — but also the Nintendo Switch.
Set to be officially revealed at GDC in March, the cross-device Xbox Live integration will allow users to view friends lists, game history, and those all-important achievements on any supported device. This is fantastic news for anyone who wants to show off their scores on the go.
Of course, Microsoft’s goals are a bit loftier than that. The intent is to offer players support for cross-platform play on more titles. Now, third-party games will join Minecraft and other Microsoft-specific titles in the company’s cross-platform library as Microsoft will provide everything developers need in order to do so.
This move seems to also be directed at getting mobile game developers to join the Xbox Live network and bring their players along with them. According to Windows Central, Microsoft estimates the expansion will expand their base from 400 million devices across Xbox consoles and Windows machines to over 2 billion devices, a fairly impressive growth margin.
In order to make the process of building games for Xbox Live easier, Microsoft will also make use of the PlayFab suite of tools, which offers developers a complete backend for developing games. It includes support of player management, leaderboards, real-time analytics and reporting, messaging, content update, in-game events, and more.
Bringing Xbox Live to more devices is an interesting move for Microsoft, which is known specifically for Windows and console play. Even more interesting will be the reaction of the most vocal part of its player base who largely see themselves as “hardcore” gamers and consider mobile gaming to be the opposite of everything they stand for.
That said, as mobile devices continue to become more powerful, it’s not surprising that Microsoft wants to get in on the action and bring in that sweet mobile gaming cash.