Microsoft officially reveals Xbox Live for Android and iOS, but not Nintendo Switch (update)

Xbox iPhone App
Xbox iPhone App (Image credit: Windows Central)

A few weeks ago, Microsoft's GDC 2019 event listing described a new Xbox Live SDK heading to Android and iOS, as well as Nintendo Switch. Today we got the official announcement ... but Nintendo Switch support is mysteriously missing.

Update March 20, 2019: Microsoft has now revealed that it is indeed exploring (opens in new tab) bringing Xbox Live to Nintendo Switch "in the coming months," with the announcement of Cuphead for Nintendo Switch.

Today, Microsoft unveiled a suite of new tools for game developers under a new Azure product called GameStack, bringing together live ops systems for service-type games such as PlayFab, middleware engines like Simplygon and Havok, as well as new features like PlayFab UGC, which allows developers to set up user-generated content storefronts similar to that seen in Minecraft.

In addition to the GameStack announcement, Microsoft also touted the migration of its Xbox Live toolkit from PC and Xbox One to Android and iOS, allowing developers to include party systems, messaging, Xbox achievements, Microsoft sign-in, and cloud saves in mobile games on those platforms. When I inquired about the timeframe for Nintendo Switch support, Microsoft said it has nothing to announce at this time except that the company's philosophy is to bring its tools to developers wherever they want them. It makes me wonder if the previous GDC 2019 event listing was premature on the Nintendo Switch inclusion, or perhaps even incorrect, considering Microsoft has now deleted it.

During the presentation, Microsoft touted its growing cloud platform, which is now twice as large as its closest competitor (namely Amazon Web Services) and will continue to expand even further. Microsoft wants to use its Azure services such as PlayFab, Xbox Live, and soon, Project xCloud, to help developers reach gamers wherever they are, on whatever device they want to use. Microsoft didn't announce which partners (if any) would be using Xbox Live on mobile devices, however, and considering third-party support on Windows-based phones and tablets was pretty weak, it remains to be seen whether or not developers will actually use it.

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Happy to see this. I just hope they put use similar criteria as ID at Xbox to make sure achievements and Gamerscore are only awarded to top quality games.
  • That ship has long sailed.
  • "Microsoft touted its growing cloud platform, which is now twice as large as its closest competitor (namely Amazon Web Services)" What?
  • I think they are saying Azure is twice as large as AWS. It's a bit vague as I cant tell by what measurement they mean. User base? Server count? Nodes? Storage Capacity?
  • I'd assume server count. Cause that goes along with user base and storage cause with out more servers you can't have either. So all of thee above.
  • It's GROWING twice as fast
  • Yeah, I'm trying to understand what they mean by this. Do they mean physical infrastructure? Because AWS is still the market leader as far as I'm aware.
  • You must have missed a few Azure datacenter announcements then. Two in South Africa in February.
  • Switch will come eventually, probably tied to Xcloud.
  • Looks like it won't. Maybe Nintendo has their own service planned. After all, they could just make a service where you get Game Pass-like access to a bunch of Switch games.
  • I think this not gonna happen at this time, maybe at the future when the new xbox is selling.
  • I'm struggling to see why this is a big deal unless they will release a suite of xbox live enabled games on mobile? Some already exist and achievements are .... well...achievable