Microsoft is bringing its Xbox Live network to iOS and Android devices. The software giant is launching a new cross-platform mobile software development kit (SDK) for game developers to bring Xbox Live functionality to games running on iOS and Android. Xbox Live features like results, Gamerscore, hero statistics, friend lists, clubs and even some family settings will be available on iOS and Android.
It's all part of a push pushed by Microsoft to make its Xbox games and services available on multiple platforms. Game developers will be able to choose parts of Xbox Live to integrate into their games and they will all be enabled through a single access to a Microsoft account. Microsoft is using its own identity network to support login, privacy, online security and child accounts.
"We strongly believe in the community and Xbox Live is really at the heart of our gaming community," explains Kareem Choudhry, head of Microsoft's cloud gaming a press conference this week. "If you look at what we have done, especially with Minecraft in the last few years we have brought Xbox Live to as many platforms as possible Minecraft . Combining all these communities together with a unique coherent experience for those players . "
Microsoft wants game developers to adopt a similar approach Minecraft and bring Xbox Live to more mobile games. Some iOS and Android games already have Xbox Live Achievements, but are currently only enabled in Microsoft Studios titles and this new SDK will open up Xbox Live functionality to many other games.
If you were hoping to see Xbox Live on Nintendo Switch, you might have to wait a little longer. "Our goal is to really unite the 2 billion players in the world and we are big fans of our Xbox Live community, but we don't have specific ads related to Switch today," says Choudhry. Even Xbox Live on PlayStation 4 seems unlikely, but Microsoft is open to the idea if Sony is willing to allow it. "If you've looked at us over the past few years, we've taken a very inclusive approach," says Choudhry. "Phil [Spencer] has been very active on topics such as crossplay, cross progression and the union of player networks, and we are willing to work with the industry as much as possible."
This new SDK for mobile devices is part of a broader drive from Microsoft for cloud gaming and tools development. The software manufacturer announces a new stack of Microsoft games for developers shortly before the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC). Microsoft Game Stack combines all the development tools of the company, services and platforms with Azure and PlayFab, the service platform that helps developers create and launch cloud-connected games. Microsoft acquired PlayFab last year and this is the first milestone of the service.
PlayFab will now be part of the Microsoft and Azure cloud tools, allowing developers to create multiplayer servers for games with matchmaking, voice and chat services, and user-generated content. Microsoft Game Stack will also include DirectX, Mixer, Power BI, Havok, Visual Studio, Windows, Xbox Game Studios, Xbox Live and SimplyGon. It's a whole mix of Microsoft's most powerful game development tools on a single, more manageable platform.
Microsoft is also aggressively pursuing its Xbox Game Pass vision and streaming xCloud games to bring games to devices other than PCs or Xbox consoles. Microsoft demonstrated its xCloud service for the first time this week, promising public trials for streaming Xbox games on iOS, Android, Mac and PC by the end of the year. Microsoft also brings Minecraft to its Xbox Game Pass, a service that is often described as "Netflix for games."
Xbox Game Pass is the key to xCloud and Microsoft pushes for their games on multiple devices. Xbox Game Pass is a monthly subscription service for $ 9.99, which allows Xbox owners to download and install over 100 games, including the latest first-generation Microsoft games like Crackdown 3 Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 4 . Microsoft also committed to launching all its games on the Xbox Game Pass at the same time they reach the stores, namely Halo Infinite the next Gears of War and others Come on will all arrive on Xbox Game Pass.