According to a conference schedule for this year’s GDC (Game Developer’s Conference), Microsoft is planning to expand their Xbox Live userbase from 400 million gaming devices to nearly 2 billion. Yowza!
How can they get this many users on board their service? Through a new cross-platform plan, Microsoft wants to integrate Xbox Live into everything from iOS to Android to Nintendo Switch (Sadly but unsurprisingly, no PlayStation).
See, right now, you can sign into Minecraft on Nintendo Switch with your Xbox Live account. But with this new strategy, there would be an even deeper level of Xbox Live integration. You would be able to “buy, play, pause, and continue their games from one device to the next on top of the most reliable social and multiplayer network in the world.”
So, in games like Warframe or DOOM, you could potentially keep your save files wherever you’re playing, whether that be PC, Xbox, or Switch. And even if you’re not on Xbox, Xbox Live would be keeping track of your progress and reward you with achievements regularly.
According to the GDC schedule, Microsoft believes that this new cross-platform approach will “break down barriers for developers that want their communities to mingle more freely across platforms… this means less work for game developers and more time to focus on making games fun.”
This announcement is indicative of the industry’s shift to a barrier-free, software-oriented future. Last year, Microsoft and Nintendo pushed cross-platform play with the phrase “play together anywhere.” And even Sony, known for their strict competitive policies, caved in and allowed cross-play for both Fortnite and Rocket League. They’re out of the running for now, but perhaps Sony will allow Xbox Live on their platform eventually. Who knows?
For now, that’s all the details we have on the new agenda for Xbox Live, but Microsoft plans on revealing more at this year’s GDC. Stay tuned: we’ll update the site with news as it happens.
For more on Xbox Live, cross-play, and everything else video games, stay tuned to Culture of Gaming.