Microsoft is officially adding Xbox Live support to mobile devices. As previously reported, this will allow mobile games to utilize Xbox Live achievements, Gamerscore, friends lists, and more.
The catch is that this system will only work with mobile titles published by Microsoft themselves. While that might change in the future, the benefit of this update at the moment is the way it allows developers to use a unified tool kit (SDK) to implement these features. This seems to be the first piece of what Microsoft is referring to as the Microsoft Game Stack: a series of tools designed to grant mobile developers easier access to Microsoft technology.
While this information was previously reported on, it’s worth noting that the original statement suggested that this same technology is coming to the Nintendo Switch.
“Xbox Live is about to get MUCH bigger,” reads the schedule. “Xbox Live is expanding from 400m gaming devices and a reach to over 68m active players to over 2bn devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDK. Get a first look at the SDK to enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs.”
The wording of that statement was a little ambiguous regarding what the service will provide, but we now know that it refers to a unified tool kit available for titles like Minecraft. Ultimately, this new version of the service will allow you to access Xbox Live with other platforms on a much greater scale. As for when we’ll hear about the service’s Switch functionality, Microsoft hasn’t released any official updates at this time.
As you’ve probably noticed, Sony’s name is not included on this list of supported devices. That’s really no surprise considering that those two are not only still major console rivals but Sony has been slower than most when it comes to embracing the concept of cross-platform play and cooperation. We’d be shocked if a PlayStation device ever supports Xbox Live.
Still, this move represents a significant step forward to a future that Microsoft has teased in which they eliminate some of the boundaries separating devices and turn the Microsoft gaming brand into something that transcends the Xbox hardware.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.