Recent teases by Microsoft’s GDC Schedule has revealed their intentions to bring Xbox Live to more platforms. The move has many people day dreaming of playing Breath of the Wild at a steady 60fps on the Xbox One, and getting to play Halo on the go. But what exactly do we know is coming?
This will incorporate a lot of new features on platforms like the Nintendo Switch, and allow cross platform gaming to be even more streamlined than ever. Nintendo and Microsoft are looking to push cross platform gaming into the spotlight for the future of the gaming industry, while Sony is still mainly on the sidelines, launching a cross platform beta to halt the complaints of their consumers, while showing little interest in taking it further.
The features that we will see incorporated are:
- Leader boards
- Gaming History
What These Features Mean
Achievements being tracked would make a lot of people happy. Being able to earn achievements for compatible games on the Nintendo Switch would be great. It would certainly help calm fans who wish that the Switch had a native system for achievement tracking. It might also encourage more people to delve into mobile gaming by using the achievement incentive. Plus, in the future we might see exclusive platform games start to receive achievements as well. It would give me a reason to go back and re-play Super Mario Odyssey at long last, and I’m sure many others would be encouraged to do the same.
Leader Boards are for various things. From monthly achievement score earning, to play time, or in game stats, the Leader Boards allow you to see how you’re doing in comparison of your friends. Its just a neat little feature.
Xbox Live would also enable better Friend systems to be implemented. Mobile platforms and the Nintendo Switch are often criticized for their tedious systems of connecting to, and playing with friends. While some solutions to native voice chat on the Switch have been crafted, such as Nintendo’s phone app, or even Vivox, it is likely for Xbox add its party systems for players. Further streamlining players’ abilities to play together.
Clubs are fairly simple. They’d allow communities to share their accomplishments and directly connect with one another on their console. Rather than having to utilize other app platforms only.
For gaming history, it would show you your actual playtime. Nintendo Switch gives you an estimated time frame, that might not always be truly accurate, but Xbox Live would show you your exact game time. As well as your full gaming history, not just your last twenty played games.
Stats is one of my favorite features of Xbox Live. It allows games to track various actions you perform in game. From your kills, deaths, or even equipment usage. Each game tracks a unique set of stats, which are just cool to look at.
Farther Out There Predictions
- Games with Gold goes cross platform
- Deals with Gold goes cross platform
- Minor/Unsuccessful IPs go cross platform
- New Cross play games are announced
- New Nintendo Switch Online subscription option bundles Xbox Live Gold into it
Games with Gold coming to the Nintendo Switch would be in a lesser capacity than on on the Xbox One. There will likely be on compatible game a month for the Switch, instead of the four that the Xbox gets. But it would be beneficial to both sides. Xbox would gain new users, and Nintendo would get some of the heat off of their back in regards to a lack of benefits of NSO.
One of the original stated benefits that NSO was supposed to have implemented at some point is exclusive discounts. We haven’t seen that happen quite yet, but Xbox Live going cross platform would help this. They already have a system for this in effect, and it would again, benefit both parties. It would accomplish a long awaited promise by Nintendo, and bring in revenue for both.
While we won’t see Halo on the go, or Mario in 60fps, there are some titles we might see go cross platform. The biggest would be Microsoft’s acquired Rare properties. They haven’t successfully used these IPs in years, and many are the exact type of games that Nintendo would do very well with, such as Banjo Kazooie. Xbox could see an array of titles. From forgotten IPs like Golden Sun, or to help boost long struggling series such as Fire Emblem and Star Fox. Microsoft would likely help fund the titles, while also boosting sales, which could lift the financial risk off of Nintendo’s shoulders.
New cross play games are a given. With them pushing it so hard, it is pretty obvious that this is what they want for the future. So, to take it a step further, we will have three games with added cross play by the end of 2019, at the least.
And an option that bundles these more premium features into NSO is also fairly easy to call. It will be optional, the original price ranges will remain, but more lucrative options will also be added.
I’ve been involved with the world of video games since I was able to sit in my dad’s lap and watch him. Not long after that I started playing myself, and it’s been a naturally growing passion ever since.