While the conference isn't until next week, Microsoft has revealed their big news a week early.
The service comes to iOS and Android via a new set of SDK tools for developers dubbed Game Stack, bringing together Microsoft's game dev platforms, services and more, including Azure, PlayFab, DirectX, Visual Studio, App Center, and Havok, all in one single ecosystem. The session described a new SDK allowing game developers to connect players between Xbox, Windows 10, iOS Android, and Nintendo Switch, as well as an expansion from "400M gaming devices" to "over 2B devices". Today, that plan got confirmed with Xbox Live support being announced for iOS and Android. Another feature, PlayFab Insights, will use the power of Microsoft's Azure cloud to offer developers insights about how people are playing their games. While Microsoft is interested in bringing Xbox Live integration to PS4 games as well, Sony is not really welcoming of this.
Using Xbox Live will provide several benefits for game developers.
Microsoft is bringing Xbox Live to mobile games on iOS and Android
What this announcement makes no mention of is Nintendo Switch support for Xbox Live, which was mentioned in Microsoft's initial tease of the GDC 2019 panel discussion regarding this Xbox Live expansion. Why?
"If you've watched us for the past few years, we've taken a very inclusive approach", says Choudhry. "Really uniting all those communities together with a consistent singular experience for those gamers".
This means you will most likely see standard Live features like Achievements and Clubs popping up in your favourite mobile titles, depending on which developers adapt to the software. "But we don't have any specific announcements as it relates to Switch today". Does that mean we'll see Xbox Live better integrated on Switch? I wouldn't hold my breath. "Phil [Spencer] has been very proactive on issues like cross-play, cross-progression, and uniting gamer networks, and we're willing to partner with the industry as much as we possibly can".