It appears that Microsoft has big plans to expand their Xbox Live online service. First reported by Windows Central, a schedule for a planned Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2019 session titled Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across Platforms revealed the company’s plans to bring their online service to Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android devices. However, since the exposure of the company’s plans, the GDC session’s page has been nearly wiped. GDC 2019 is set to take place next month from March 18 through March 22.
The session’s original description stated that Xbox Live getting “MUCH bigger” as it’s “expanding from 400M gaming devices and a reach to over 68M active players to over 2B devices” thanks to a new cross-platform XDK that Microsoft is planning to release to developers. The description goes on to state:
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.
Players on other platforms can already sign into Xbox Live for games such as Minecraft, but this expansion of the service will allow for players to do even more. With this new integrated function, players will have access to their Xbox achievements, clubs, friend lists, and more on new devices. This will also allow developers to integrate cross-platform Xbox Live services into their games not already on Xbox or PC which will allow them “more time to focus on making games fun.”
This expansion of Xbox Live is another piece in the company’s slew of plans for the future. The company reportedly has two consoles in development for next generation, and is planning to release a disc-less version of the Xbox One sometime this year. Last year, Microsoft also announced Project xCloud, a cloud based streaming service that will allow for Xbox games to be played on a variety of devices. With all these plans and a variety of new studios being brought into Microsoft’s first party lineup, the future of Xbox seems brighter than ever.