Looks like Xbox is really embracing the concept of cross-platform cooperation. Sources revealed that Xbox is planning on opening up their SDK for developers to use on iOS, Android, and the Nintendo Switch. And how was this discovered? Well, the Windows focused news magazine, windowscentral.com, found out that Windows is scheduled to present a seminar titled “Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across Platforms” at GDC 2019. The presentation will be by Jeffrey Shi (Principal Program Manager, Team Xbox, Microsoft), and Ramsey Khadder (Software Engineer, Team Xbox, Microsoft) – so this development isn’t a rumor, but fact.
Unfortunately, it seems that Microsoft removed their detailed description of what the seminar would cover, but that wasn’t enough to stop the information from getting out into the world. Here’s a summary of what they’re planning on discussing.
Xbox wants to expand Xbox Live “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.” They plan to reveal a first look of the SDK that will allow developers to “connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs.”
So what does this mean? Does this mean you’ll have access to all of your Xbox live games on your non xbox devices? Well, no. What is actually happening, is that developers will be able to add Xbox Live functionality to their games, regardless of platform. Doing this could enable things like cross-play, the utilization of Xbox Live’s social features, and the ability to share achievements across devices.
This is definitely a smart move by Microsoft. Sharing their software expands their reach beyond those who have chosen the Xbox as their console of choice. It also isn’t a surprise that Xbox is expanding in this way, because this isn’t the first time that Xbox thought outside of the box. On October 8th, 2018, Project xCloud was revealed on the official Microsoft blog. Project xCloud, is Xbox’s take on cloud based subscription gaming. Their plan is to open up a large catalog of games to be hosted on massive servers of Xbox’s stationed around the world – that can be played on any Xbox, Computer, or mobile device.
Make sure you follow us here at Game Oasis News for any updates to this story as it unravels. It seems that the growing trend is that developers who embrace cross-platform play and functionality are primed to succeed more than those who don’t. It’s exciting to see what Microsoft has in store – and we want to know what you think about this story. Do you think that opening up Xbox Live across platforms will enhance your experience, or will it be a change you’ll hardly notice?
By: Bree Mimms [2-5-19]