Microsoft studios and partners are planning to develop Xbox Live-integrated apps on Android and iOS platforms, a new report suggests.
An alleged development source, said to be familiar with Microsoft's plans, told Business Insider that the Xbox firm wants to take advantage of the mushrooming mobile space before Sony gets there first.
"Xbox is a client of ours. There's no way they'll be ignoring those other mobile platforms," the developer said.
Meanwhile, a new Microsoft job posting advertises that Xbox Live employees are “bringing the latest and greatest gaming and entertainment experience to mobile platforms including Windows Phone, iOS and other mobile platforms".
Microsoft has declined to comment.
Such is the breadth of the company’s services, Microsoft has to play a balancing act with the businesses it wants to compete with and those that provide strategically beneficial partnerships.
With PlayStation building a new software platform to unite PlayStation and Android devices – called PlayStation Suite – it is believed Microsoft wants to stretch its services into this space before Sony makes inroads.
But if Xbox Live games do arrive on iOS and Android – owned by old rivals Apple and Google – it could affect the value of Microsoft’s Windows Phone business. One unique selling point of Windows Phones is that, currently, they offer superior access to Xbox Live over other smartphones.
In December, Microsoft released a free Xbox Live portal on the App Store. The iPad and iPhone application allows users to log in to their Live account and send messages, edit profiles, update avatars, manage friends and view achievements.
The app allows Microsoft to reach its customers when not bound to their home consoles and, in theory, could keep more people engaged with their Xboxes – though for now a more extensive edition of the application, called ‘My Xbox Live’, is available on Windows Phone.
Microsoft has in the past taken advantage of the popularity of Apple’s smartphone platform. In 2010 the Xbox firm partnered with London design agency McCann to build the Fable Kingmaker app for iOS devices.