Microsoft continues to blur the line between the Xbox One and other game services, providing many of its features across PC and even offering cross-platform play with Nintendo Switch on certain titles. If you’re a fan of Xbox Live, you should be happy to hear that the service is coming to iOS and Android as well.
Announced ahead of the Game Developers Conference, Microsoft revealed that many of Xbox Live’s biggest features will be available in games on iOS and Android. Achievements, Gamerscore, friends lists, clubs, privacy settings, and parental controls will all be available for developers to use on mobile devices. They can choose to use all of these for their games, or they can select them a la carte — if it only makes sense to add Achievements to your game, you can do that without issue.
The Gamerscore you earn playing titles on iOS and Android will be applied to the same account you use for games on Xbox One or PC. Friends and clubs will also carry over regardless of device, allowing you to quickly find people to play games with on your phone or tablet.
It certainly makes sense for these features to be directly integrated into iOS and Android devices. With Project xCloud, players will be able to stream Xbox games on their phones, with native touch controls added to games originally only meant for controllers or keyboards.
When asked about the possibility for these features to also come to Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 4, Microsoft was not able to provide any concrete details. Microsoft’s vice president of its gaming cloud, Kareem Choudhry, did, however, say that the company is interested in bringing the services to all devices possible, so the barrier to this is likely Nintendo or Sony.
The tools are just part of Microsoft Game Stack, which is a new development system bringing together everything from DirectX to Havoc and the Azure Cloud. It’s intended to make developers central to game creation, and includes simpler options for integrating multiplayer or user-generated content into a game. With the Azure PlayFab services, developers can easily get in-game data from multiple sources, as well, and PlayFab Party even gives them the ability to integrate party chat with translation and transcription.