Microsoft has accidentally revealed its plans to extend Xbox Live to the Switch and mobile platforms.
In the description of a session it will hold at GDC, the company said: “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.” That text was hastily amended, and now reads: “Get a first look at the SDK to enable game developers to connect players across platforms.”
The SDK that the GDC session description refers to is a new version of Microsoft’s XDK (Xbox Software Development Kit), which will be specifically designed to enable cross-platform play. Microsoft, unlike Sony, has been open to cross-platform gaming in recent years, particularly between Xbox One and PC games, but extending to platforms like the Switch (Xbox-Switch play was enabled on Fortnite while Sony blocked it, for example).
Microsoft would also love to extend its Xbox Live user base beyond Xbox consoles, and currently, an Xbox Live account is required to play the company’s Minecraft on all platforms bar the PlayStation 4. No doubt more will be revealed when GDC gets under way in San Francisco on 18 March.
In the meantime, it might be worth watching Microsoft’s website.