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Microsoft wants to bring Xbox Live cross-platform gaming to Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, and more

Shin

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At GDC 2019, Microsoft is set to debut a new cross-platform development platform with the goal of bringing Xbox Live support to games on Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, in addition to PC and Xbox consoles.
Microsoft already has a few games with Xbox Live support across mobile devices, most notably via Minecraft, which requires an Xbox Live login on Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch.

Until now, Microsoft reserved Xbox Live support on those platforms for its own games, but now now, Microsoft is aiming to bring Xbox Live cross-platform play to even more titles.
Developers will be able to bake cross-platform Xbox Live achievements, social systems, and multiplayer, into games built for mobile devices and Nintendo Switch, as part of its division-wide effort to grow Xbox Live's userbase.

The information comes from the GDC 2019 scheduling website, describing Microsoft's future plans for Xbox Live.
Microsoft also plans to leverage its powerful PlayFab suite of backend tools as part of this package, aiming to streamline the process for developers building live games across multiple platforms.

Xbox Live is one of the largest, most engaged gaming communities on the planet with decades of experience providing managed game services to developers that save you time and unlock all of the social and engagement features that players love.
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.
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.
Takeaway
  • 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.
  • This will break down barriers for developers that want their communities to mingle more freely across platforms. Combined with PlayFab gaming services, this means less work for game developers and more time to focus on making games fun.

Credit: Windows Central
 
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Shin

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Microsoft has a winning card on it's hands and if/when they get their studios in order and release quality games that speak to a wider audience it could pay off.
Studio's and games aside the Live service itself could be better than PSN IMO because of the infrastructure itself, I get the impression that it's miles ahead and was ahead upon creation.
But for whatever reason there's something missing in the equation that doesn't bring it all together as it should and/or could, for example I think? you can buy a game on PC/Xbox and play it on the other yeah?
It exists sure, but not being used to it's full potential (whatever that may be).
 

Cert.in.Death

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Jun 28, 2013
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All companies would love to have a distribution channel on platforms they don’t own. Sadly, nobody is going to cede that segment of their marketplace willfully; it’s uneconomical unless broader partnerships develop.
 

FranXico

Member
Dec 7, 2010
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Interesting to see MS embracing cross platform functionality and extending other platforms with their own services...
 

AgentP

Thinks mods influence posters politics. Promoted to QAnon Editor.
Jun 5, 2011
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Yes, let MS get their bloatware into everything in the hopes they can charge us for Gold one day.
 

Armorian

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Jan 17, 2018
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Microsoft has a winning card on it's hands and if/when they get their studios in order and release quality games that speak to a wider audience it could pay off.
Studio's and games aside the Live service itself could be better than PSN IMO because of the infrastructure itself, I get the impression that it's miles ahead and was ahead upon creation.
But for whatever reason there's something missing in the equation that doesn't bring it all together as it should and/or could, for example I think? you can buy a game on PC/Xbox and play it on the other yeah?
It exists sure, but not being used to it's full potential (whatever that may be).

MS bought and killed (or made them useless like Rare) many good studios before, this needs to change.
 

Vawn

Banned
Feb 20, 2018
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Microsoft wants to trojan horse Xbox Live onto the competition? Well, I'm sure they do.
 

Shin

Banned
Feb 4, 2013
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MS bought and killed (or made them useless like Rare) many good studios before, this needs to change.
While you're correct and on-topic, the same can be said about pretty much every platform holder.
Here's to hoping that the newly bought studios don't suffer the same faith and a lesson or two has been learned from past mistakes.
On the bright side Rare still exists and people still have jobs (even if some were let go in the process), MS didn't kill it off after 1-2 failures so to speak.
I get what you're saying, but just chose to keep an open mind all-around.
 
Oct 10, 2018
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MS bought and killed (or made them useless like Rare) many good studios before, this needs to change.

This is mostly false, Rare literally didn't put out one successful product since MS brought them outside the Conker remake and maybe Ghoulies (doubt it) and Kinect SPorts was rares idea and made more money then they ever made before.

Ensemble was siphoning money and causing constant delay headaches and update issues.

I doubt anyone here cares about the Kinect studios or the "turned into" kinect studios they closed.

Twisted Pixel wasn't closed but let go which might be the only one that makes zero sense.
 

Armorian

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Jan 17, 2018
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Rare was useless for gamers, they didn't create any real game 2008-2018, maybe things will get better after SoT. Successful MS studios become one series makers: T10 (Forza), 343 (Halo), Playground (FH) and Lionhead when they were still around was making only Fable games. MS can have successful FP portfolio only if they change their policies, don't be Nazi publisher and allow studios to make new IPs.
 

EDMIX

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Apr 5, 2018
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Microsoft has a winning card on it's hands and if/when they get their studios in order and release quality games that speak to a wider audience it could pay off.
Studio's and games aside the Live service itself could be better than PSN IMO because of the infrastructure itself, I get the impression that it's miles ahead and was ahead upon creation.
But for whatever reason there's something missing in the equation that doesn't bring it all together as it should and/or could, for example I think? you can buy a game on PC/Xbox and play it on the other yeah?
It exists sure, but not being used to it's full potential (whatever that may be).

Oh it will pay off big time for them in terms of subscriptions, not so much in hardware sales, but I think they understand that. So its sounding like MS is pretty much going full 3rd party.
 

Harry Tung

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Jun 1, 2018
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I would love cross-play in a lot of games. Wish there were cross-play on Warframe for Switch and PS4. If Microsoft means business with this, hopefully they can spearhead it with this new platform and buck the trend making cross-play more viable for all systems. If they popularize it going into next-gen maybe others follow suit. I believe it´s only a matter of time before this becomes the norm and even more so, when a major player starts greasing the wheels.
 
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Three

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Oct 26, 2014
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I would love cross-play in a lot of games. Wish there were cross-play on Warframe for Switch and PS4. If Microsoft means business with this, hopefully they can spearhead it with this new platform and buck the trend making cross-play more viable for all systems. If they popularize it going into next-gen maybe others follow suit. I believe it´s only a matter of time before this becomes the norm and even more so, when a major player starts greasing the wheels.
This is more about making the backend work easier for devs. They bought a company called PlayFab recently. They deal mostly in backend work for mobile games

https://playfab.com/games/

It just makes backend work easy for devs instead of them setting up their own. The same barriers for cross play would still exist.
 
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Gamezone

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What do Microsoft gain by doing this, and why would publishers allow this? Why would Nintendo, Sony, Apple or Google bother with allowing people to connect with one of their main competitors trough their platforms? And what is Microsoft gaining by doing this?
 

Three

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What do Microsoft gain by doing this, and why would publishers allow this? Why would Nintendo, Sony, Apple or Google bother with allowing people to connect with one of their main competitors trough their platforms? And what is Microsoft gaining by doing this?
Microsoft gain money from the dev paying for the service.
https://playfab.com/pricing/
They also get bigger MAU numbers from people playing Angry Birds or whatever if they say it is using the Live service. Sony, Nintendo, Apple don't gain much and can still block cross play if they wish to.
 

EDMIX

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What do Microsoft gain by doing this, and why would publishers allow this? Why would Nintendo, Sony, Apple or Google bother with allowing people to connect with one of their main competitors trough their platforms? And what is Microsoft gaining by doing this?

To gain subscriptions. MS putting games on PC clearly shows they are done trying to just move hardware and must move software numbers at all cost. Clearly that means putting titles on other platforms. Nintendo and Sony might allow this as all this does is give them more content and allow them to move more units. So this helps Sony and Nintendo and helps MS in terms of software sales.

It would be like saying why MS, Nintendo or Sony would allow Sega to put their games on their platforms. They are still a publisher.
 

MayauMiao

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Don't think Sony will allow this. They know it will be MS trojan horse. Games like Halo maybe but Xbox Live? No way unless PS5 bombs and Sony is desperate.
 

Gamezone

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To gain subscriptions. MS putting games on PC clearly shows they are done trying to just move hardware and must move software numbers at all cost. Clearly that means putting titles on other platforms. Nintendo and Sony might allow this as all this does is give them more content and allow them to move more units. So this helps Sony and Nintendo and helps MS in terms of software sales.

It would be like saying why MS, Nintendo or Sony would allow Sega to put their games on their platforms. They are still a publisher.

But shouldn't Microsoft try to move third party games to their own store on PC, rather than moving features like achivements and stats over to Steam or other store fronts?
 

EDMIX

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Microsoft gain money from the dev paying for the service.
https://playfab.com/pricing/
They also get bigger MAU numbers from people playing Angry Birds or whatever if they say it is using the Live service. Sony, Nintendo, Apple don't gain much and can still block cross play if they wish to.

This. Also Sony, Apple nor Nintendo have issues moving massive units of hardware.

This might make more sense for MS then the rest.
 

EDMIX

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But shouldn't Microsoft try to move third party games to their own store on PC, rather than moving features like achivements and stats over to Steam or other store fronts?

? The goal is to make money for MS, if folks don't use the store, its pointless. Its why you've seen them putting some of their games on Steam. The goal is still to make money.
 

Gamezone

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? The goal is to make money for MS, if folks don't use the store, its pointless. Its why you've seen them putting some of their games on Steam. The goal is still to make money.

They definitely won't be using MS Store if their games are avaliable on Steam.

Didn't someone mentioned a while back that MS was planning to move Xbox over to PC? Their own UI and their own store.
 

ethomaz

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When MS announced GamePass I thought wow that could work if they can put in all devices that can play games including PS and Nintendo.

I do believe that is the MS dream... turn Xbox in a service across all platforms/devices and not a to be a platform to it own.
 

Ten_Fold

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would be cool to see Halo/gears on ps5 using xbl service, I would be pretty hype guess I wouldn’t need to buy an Xbox lol
 

Three

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They definitely won't be using MS Store if their games are avaliable on Steam.

Didn't someone mentioned a while back that MS was planning to move Xbox over to PC? Their own UI and their own store.
MS' goal is not really one or the other. They will still release their games only on the windows store if they feel the game they have would not be hurt by it. They would offer cross platform achievements, friends lists, etc from other stores because that makes it easier to switch and not more difficult. Imagine you bought a Playfab game on some Android store. You made some friends and earned some achievements. You then see the sequel or similar game in the windows store or buy an xbox. It makes that switch easier because your achievements and friends carry over. This is trying to defeat vendor lock in when you are losing. They did the same for outlook when combating Gmail, they did the same when fighting for their music service, now they are doing it on the gaming front. This would never have happened if their walled garden was populated or in a market leading position.
 
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EDMIX

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When MS announced GamePass I thought wow that could work if they can put in all devices that can play games including PS and Nintendo.

I do believe that is the MS dream... turn Xbox in a service across all platforms/devices and not a to be a platform to it own.

Well looks like its starting to happen now. It makes sense based on MS current situation. If Sony and Nintendo continue to move more and more units, it just makes more sense for MS to seek being a 3rd party publisher and at least have a option for hardware, vs them just trying to force it. They got nowhere trying to force it for so many generations. You had them neglecting ot put content on PC, despite having a PC OS....it just made no sense. So they kept trying to pull a Sony in a situation that doesn't even really help them as Sony has great reason not to put all their games on PC....they are moving UNITS of the hardware they make as well as NOT having a damn OS.

MS has been playing me too in situations that just make no sense and finally seem to understand that they can't really beat Sony that way as Sony can afford to not put games on PC as they don't have a OS, MS can't. So I think them going 3rd party is the right choice and maybe not next gen, but the gen after they might go 100% without hardware and just be a 3rd party publisher.
 

VincentMatts

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Ive been playing wordament on iOS and I love getting achievements on the go. Im ok with more of this
 

levyjl1988

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I like to think of it with Apple. They decided not to license their OS to other companies. Microsoft took the idea of the OS and made their own, licensed it and it profited. Windows is on more platforms than just Apple.
 

TagZ

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Rare was useless for gamers, they didn't create any real game 2008-2018, maybe things will get better after SoT. Successful MS studios become one series makers: T10 (Forza), 343 (Halo), Playground (FH) and Lionhead when they were still around was making only Fable games. MS can have successful FP portfolio only if they change their policies, don't be Nazi publisher and allow studios to make new IPs.
You need a hug
 

Silent Chief

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As long as they don't add that to the default MS apps on Android. I've never used any of those but they're constantly being patched.
 

Ozrimandias

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According to gameindustry.biz, MS leaked its plan In the description for a GDC session titled Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across iOS, Android, Switch, Xbox, and PC (spotted by Windows Central), the platform holder revealed its plans to release a new Xbox Development Kit.

Full News here

So this is kind of big isn't?
 

Omeggos

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Funny, it’ll take Xbox of all things to bring a proper chat system to switch.

But hey, I’d love more intimate development crossovers. Botw with achievements? Fuck yeah I’d want that. Or even just smash bros running on dedicated azure servers
 
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Vawn

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Do Switch owners have to pay both Nintendo and Microsoft? Why the hell would Nintendo sign off on this?
 
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