Microsoft has just announced that it’s bringing Xbox Live to iOS and Android devices. Developers will be able to leverage Microsoft’s Game Stack SDK to bring Xbox Live functionality like messaging, party chat, achievements, and multiplayer.
Game Stack is an SDK consisting of several tools and services. It includes Microsoft’s Azure cloud network and PlayFab. The latter is Microsoft’s back-end service for developers to manage their games. By leveraging Game Stack, developers can use Microsoft Azure network and tools to service their games to gamers around the world.
The process has been streamlined for both developers and gamers. Developers can choose to implement the services they want. Microsoft is also allowing developers to publish games and updates to games without requiring Xbox Live certification pass. And for gamers, their Microsoft account is the key to accessing Live services in games that feature it.
There were rumors of Microsoft bridging access to more platforms via Xbox Live. The rumors were for Nintendo Switch, but that doesn’t seem to be happening – at least not today. But Microsoft is not ruling out Xbox Live integration for even PlayStation. As Microsoft explains it, PlayFab supports all major platforms.
This announcement today is Microsoft’s center itself as the leading cloud platform provider in just about every space. Microsoft is one of the three cloud platform names for Enterprise, now it’s extending the roots commercial devices via gaming and setting up the stage for Project xCloud.
Project xCloud is Microsoft’s game-streaming service, expected to be out late this year. In a slew of announcements yesterday on Inside Xbox, Microsoft’s Kareem Choudhry showcased the first glimpse of the service in action. Forza Horizon 4 was shown running on an Android smartphone paired with an Xbox controller via Bluetooth. It was also announced that public trials for Project xCloud will begin this year.