Microsoft is looking to bring its popular Xbox Live service to more gamers than ever, this week announcing the arrival of the service for games on both iOS and Android.
Microsoft has had its sights set on the future of gaming in recent years and, based on some recent moves, they clearly believe that the gaming landscape is evolving. A traditionally walled off gaming platform, the Xbox brand has started to open up in exciting new ways, with everything from cross-platform partnerships with companies like Nintendo, to a Games Pass service that has low key evolved into the best bargain in the industry.
They took yet another step into that more open future this week with the announcement that Xbox Live will be readily available for both iOS and Android. Sadly, the Nintendo Switch is not yet a part of that conversation but, given how chummy the two companies have become in recent years, it feels like only a matter of time before you’re able to earn Achievements on Switch games other than Minecraft.
According to The Verge, Microsoft’s move into mobile includes a new software development kit that will let developers plug in Xbox Live functionality with little muss or fuss. Whether it’s a new title or an old favorite, developers who choose to take advantage of the kit can include everything from Achievements and Gamerscore to friend lists and Clubs. That seems like a pretty brilliant move, as fans are likely to gravitate toward games that let them carry over their connected Xbox Live community even if the game isn’t made or published by Microsoft.
The initial report goes on to state that Microsoft is open to working with pretty much anyone when it comes to implementing Xbox Live support, including Nintendo and Sony. While the latter isn’t a super likely prospect, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nintendo welcome Xbox Live with at least mostly open arms. Microsoft’s kit will provide tools and functionality Nintendo is currently lacking and, after all these years, clearly has little interest in developing themselves.
So while we’re still waiting to see what the next Microsoft gaming machine looks like, this is yet another sign that the company is thinking bigger than their own hardware and even further down the line than the next generation of consoles.