Microsoft's Xbox Live will soon add long-requested support for connecting players on other popular game platforms, according to a recently published game conference schedule. It gives devs a first look at the new Xbox Live cross-platform developer kit. Presumably, the same functionality will be rolled out on Switch, iOS and Android, with social systems (friends lists, messages etc.), multiplayer and achievements to be integrated, expanding the userbase for Xbox Live in the process.
The description continues: "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 nearly every screen". Cross-platform play between consoles, PCs and even phones has been a growing trend in online gaming, with Microsoft in part blazing the trail particularly with partnerships bringing Minecraft to iOS, Android and even Nintendo Switch. The SDK in question is likely what developers will be using to hook into Microsoft's services. Almost half a billion devices isn't anything to sneeze at, but quadrupling that number to reach 2 billion devices by supporting additional devices would make Xbox Live the most expansive platform around. Now, they may have a plan to take that one step further and make Xbox Live available on a number of other devices.
"Then talk about Microsoft, which is a huge company with huge aspirations and this is a business we are in with great leaders, great teams, great fans".
Respawn's Vince Zampella teases battle royale game Apex Legends news for Monday
They chose to use the same engine they used for Titanfall and Titanfall 2 , but found that the game looked rather dated. If reports are true, and it seems they are, Apex Legends will release for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
This talk - brought to you by the Xbox backwards compatibility team - will go deeper into how Cloud Aware games built with the Project xCloud SDK will help games adapt for mobile through the same graphics and input paradigms as Console Native development.
The GDC runs from March runs 18 through March 22 and the cross-platform advancement may not be the only new technology on show from Microsoft.