Microsoft’s schedule for the 2019 Game Developer’s Conference has been revealed, and it hints at something surprising for the future of XBox Live. When it was first posted, one of the panels was called “Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across iOS, Android, Switch, Xbox, and PC.” Wait, Switch?
Microsoft has since changed the posting to read “Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across Platforms.” And they took down the original description of the panel, but the Internet has preserved it:
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 2B 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.
The fact that they could get Xbox Live working on mobile devices isn’t surprising, as those are open platforms…but to see XBox Live being talked about for a Nintendo console is wild.
However, this doesn’t mean we’ll be able to substitute Nintendo Switch Online for XBox Live anytime soon (as superior as that would be). What it most likely means is that XBox Live will be introduced as an option for developers to use to plug cross-platform play into their games. Epic Games, creators of Fortnite, are offering a similar product.
We’ll have to wait for the panel itself to know more. The 2019 Game Developers Conference will be held March 18 through March 22 in San Francisco.