Earlier this year, Microsoft stated that 2019 will be a "heck of a good year" for Xbox, and it now appears that we'll be getting a glimpse of that at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), which is scheduled to begin at March 18. At the event's official scheduler website, Microsoft has booked a talk in which it'll debut an SDK that will make Xbox Live cross-platform development easier.
As reported by Windows Central, Microsoft's GDC schedule includes a session titled "Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across iOS, Android, Switch, Xbox, and PC". During this, the company plans to showcase a new Software Development Kit (SDK), which will allow developers to build rich experiences spreading across Xbox, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC. Sony's PlayStation platform is, unsurprisingly, absent from this list.
The key takeaways from the session are listed as follows:
- Xbox Live players are highly engaged and active on Xbox and PC, but now they can take their gaming achievement history, their friends list, their clubs, and more with them to almost every screen.
- This will break down barriers for developers that want their communities to mingle more freely across platforms. Combined with PlayFab gaming services, this means less work for game developers and more time to focus on making games fun.
The second bullet point is quite interesting as it mentions PlayFab, a company which develops backend gaming services. Microsoft acquired PlayFab in early last year in an effort to boost the scalability of its backend gaming technology.
The "Intended Audience" subheading in the schedule sheds even more light on the capability of Microsoft's SDK, as detailed below:
- Game services engineers looking to save time & expand their customer base by letting Microsoft managed game services handle social, communication, and multiplayer interactions across billions of screens.
- Game producers looking to plan a multi-platform strategy that brings the most active, engaged players into a community where they can watch, 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.
It's clear that Microsoft has big plans for Xbox this year, and we'll likely find out more about them next month.