GDC 2019 is coming up soon and a Twitter user spotted an interesting tidbit on the GDC 2019 website: Microsoft is looking to bring Xbox Live functionality to mobile devices, the Nintendo Switch and more with a new cross-platform XDK.
According to the tweet, the session titled Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across Platforms is being presented by Jeffry Shi, Principal Program Manager of Team Xbox at Microsoft, and Ramsey Khadder, a software engineer with the same team.
If this isn’t some form of typo this is HUGE NEWS and will change the industry going forward. Xbox Live coming to 2 billion (BILLION) devices with new cross-platform XDK/SDK. #XboxLive #GamePass #Xcloud pic.twitter.com/mjza0JKZRc— Avers (@Avers_G4GMedia) February 2, 2019
While the session page is still up, the session description and takeaway have been removed so, just in case the tweet above gets removed as well, the description reads as follows:
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.GDC 2019 Xbox Live Session description
While there are a few mobile Xbox Live games, they are few and far between. Microsoft no doubt led the charge with cross-platform play, starting with the Xbox One and select Microsoft Store PC games. A few developers followed suit, including Psyonix with Rocket League and Epic Games with Fortnite. While they tried to hold out, eventually Sony had to cave and allow cross-platform play with the PlayStation 4 as well.
On that note, while cross-platform play exists for a number of games, it’s not usually tied directly into the Xbox Live platform. The takeaways from the GDC 2019 session hint at some of the possible integration that gamers could be seeing across devices.
– 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.GDC 2019 Xbox Live Session takeaway points
We won’t be attending GDC 2019 ourselves but we’ll be sure to keep an eye on anything that comes out of this session and report back at a later date.
Last Updated on February 3, 2021.