You can now consider your phone/tablet to be a mini Xbox platform. Well, technically. Microsoft has officially rolled out a new SDK which will allow mobile game developers to integrate the Xbox Live service into their titles, similar to that of Minecraft. The new mobile SDK comes part of Microsoft’s new Game Stack toolset for game developers, which means even Nintendo’s mobile teams could make use of this package (that is, if they’re ever allowed to do so). These tools are meant to improve development workflows and also build the ever-growing cloud-gaming sector.
This big move from Microsoft comes as a result of the company seeking to “unite” the various gaming communities that are spread across the various platforms. But, this unification isn’t going to include the competing console platforms—at least not yet.
Earlier this year, a rumor began to circulate stating that Microsoft would be bringing XBL to mobile platforms and also the Nintendo Switch. As a result, now that the formal announcement has been made it isn’t too surprising. But, what about the Switch? Microsoft’s head of cloud gaming, Mr. Kareem Choudhry, commented on the situation at a media briefing.
Choundry explained that while Microsoft’s major goal is to “unite the 2 billion gamers of the world”, the company has no “specific announcements as it relates to Switch today”. This is interesting considering that the aforementioned rumor was sprouted from Microsoft’s own notes of its upcoming presentation at GDC. Either the mention of the Switch in that rumor was an error, or an announcement is being held off until then. After all, Choundry did say that his team has nothing to announce “today“, not that it isn’t happening at all.
All in the family
What has a high chance of not happening at all though, is Xbox Live coming to PlayStation. Interestingly enough, Choundry did confirm that Microsoft is at least willing to do so, pointing to the attitude of Phil Spencer. Choundry mentioned that Mr. 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.” In other words, Microsoft seems keen to bring its services to just about any platform that allows it, even the competition. But, Sony is already dragging its feet on something as simple as cross-platform multiplayer, so having Xbox Live come to PlayStation is a dream situation at best.