Microsoft sets its sights on expanding from 400m Xbox Live devices to 2 billion

Microsoft is looking to extend its Xbox Live service across other platforms – including Nintendo Switch and Android and iOS devices – via a new cross-platform system called XDK.

According to the GDC 2019 scheduling website (thanks, Eurogamer), at the upcoming GDC 2019, Microsoft’s principal program manager, Jeffery Shi, and software engineer Ramsey Khadder will announce plans to roll out Xbox Live cross-platform and support games not just on PC and Xbox consoles, but mobile devices and the Switch, too. Until now, Microsoft had been focusing Live support for its own games and devices, but now is set to extend its reach across competitor platforms, hoping to expand "from 400M gaming devices and a reach to over 68M active players to over 2B devices".

"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," said a summary on the website that has since seemingly since been deleted. "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 2bn 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."

"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," the website further added, discussing what delegates can expect to take away from the session. "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."

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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