Microsoft Announces Xbox Live for Android and iOS

Microsoft to Bring Xbox Live Features to Android and iOS Games

Bringing Xbox Live to mobile games should probably have happened much earlier, and we've actually been hearing that it was coming since 2014.

As The Verge explains, some Microsoft Studios titles on iOS and Android already feature Achievements, but this SDK will open the online social platform up to all developers that want to work it into their apps.

"Over the past 16 years, Xbox Live has become one of the most vibrant and engaged gaming communities in the world". It will be up to the developers to pick which parts of Xbox Live they want to integrate into their games.

For Xbox Live specifically, a new Software Development Kit (SDK) is being introduced to allow for iOS and Android games to plug into the wider Live community and capabilities. That includes includes a trusted identity network based on Microsoft accounts, a frictionless integration for developers (Xbox Live-enabled games were notoriously hard to develop in the Windows 8/Windows Phone era due to Microsoft's strict guidelines), as well as many ways to keep mobile gamers engaged with achievements, crossplay, and more.

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"We believe so strongly in community, and Xbox Live really being at the heart of our gaming community", Microsoft's CVP of Gaming Cloud, Kareem Choudhry said at a briefing.

What this announcement makes no mention of is Nintendo Switch support for Xbox Live, which was mentioned in Microsoft's initial tease of the GDC 2019 panel discussion regarding this Xbox Live expansion. Why?

The company's head of gaming, Phil Spencer, has also added fuel to the fire.

Forza Horizon 4 running on Android via Project xCloud. "Phil [Spencer] has been very proactive on issues like cross-play, cross-progression, and uniting gamer networks, and we're willing to partner with the industry as much as we possibly can".

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