It’s official: 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 that run on iOS and Android. Xbox Live features like achievements, Gamerscore, hero stats, friend lists, clubs, and even some family settings will all be available on iOS and Android.
It’s all part of a bigger push from Microsoft to make its Xbox games and services available across multiple platforms. Game developers will be able to pick and choose parts of Xbox Live network to integrate into their games, and it will all be enabled through a single sign-in to a Microsoft Account. Microsoft is using its identity network to support login, privacy, online safety, and child accounts.
“We believe so strongly in community, and Xbox Live really being at the heart of our gaming community,” explains Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft’s gaming cloud chief in a media briefing this week. “If you watch what we’ve done, especially with Minecraft, over the past few years we’ve taken Xbox Live to as many platforms as Minecraft is on as possible. Really uniting all those communities together with a consistent singular experience for those gamers.”
If you were hoping to see Xbox Live on Nintendo Switch, which was rumored last month, then you might have to wait a little longer. “Our goal is to really unite the 2 billion gamers of the world and we’re big fans of our Xbox Live community, but we don’t have any specific announcements as it relates to Switch today,” reveals Choudhry. Xbox Live on PlayStation 4 also looks unlikely, but Microsoft is open to the idea if Sony is willing to allow it. “If you’ve watched us for the past few years, we’ve taken a very inclusive approach,” says Choudhry. “Phil [Spencer] has been very proactive on issues like crossplay, cross-progression, and uniting gamer networks, and we’re willing to partner with the industry as much as we possibly can.”
Bummer, I know.