The days of Xbox Live being a Microsoft exclusive appear to be coming to an end—it looks like Xbox Live cross-platform support is about to become a reality. The news first broke at the listing of an upcoming talk by Microsoft at GDC 2019. The description says, in plain English, that Xbox Live is aiming to expand its horizons beyond the PC and Xbox consoles.
The talk is titled Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across iOS, Android, Switch, Xbox, and PC (Presented by Microsoft). That’s about as plain a statement as it gets, but its expanded in more detail in the description. Here are some relevant portions excerpted from the description:
Now 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.
– Xbox Live players are highly engaged and active on Xbox and PC, but now they can take their gaming achievement history, their friends list, their clubs, and more with them to almost every screen.
In short, Xbox Live Cross-Platform support is going to be making it a gaming network that will no longer be exclusive to Microsoft devices. This is similar to a cross-platform roadmap recently put forth by Epic Games where they are planning to give developers access to friends lists and other social features. Notably, Sony devices are absent from the description, indicating that Microsoft’s biggest rivals may not be open to allowing Xbox Live on their platform.
It may be a while yet before we actually see Xbox Live Cross-Platform support actually implemented. The talk at the Game Developers Conference is, unsurprisingly, aimed towards game developers. They’ll be detailing how developers can simply plug into Xbox Live and let it handle important social features like friends lists, achievements, and the like, saving precious development time and resources for other matters. You can read the full description of the talk for yourself at the GDC website.
What do you think of Xbox Live Cross-Platform support? Do you think Sony will be open to allowing it on their platform? Let us know in the comments below!