It seems the way we look at the console market is about to change dramatically.
It seems the fine folks at Microsoft are developing a software development kit (SDK) that will allow other platforms- be they the Nintendo Switch, iOS, or Android- to connect to Xbox Live servers, thus allowing them to connect to Xbox live’s friend lists, achievement systems, and even cross-platform multiplayer. The announcement comes via the website for the annual GDC (Game developer’s conference) in San Francisco, California. The website lists a talk by Jeffrey Shi and Ramsey Khadder of the Xbox team at Microsoft, going by the title ‘Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across iOS, Android, Switch, Xbox, and PC (Presented by Microsoft)’
“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.”
The announcement comes not too long after last year’s cross-platform wars, with Xbox and Windows leading the charge as one of the first platforms to support cross-platform play on titles like Fortnite and Rocket League. Microsoft is also gearing up for the launch of their ‘Game Pass’, a subscription-based ‘Netflix for games’. How, if at all, these systems interlink is as of yet unknown.
Only time will tell what future games will support the tech, or indeed if Sony’s PlayStation will ever become a part of the collective, but one thing’s for sure- the way we play games could change forever under this unified platform across Xbox, Switch, Mobile, and PC.