Just like how Sony and Nintendo have their own online platforms and services for their consoles, so does Microsoft with its Xbox Live service. Each of these services are exclusive to their own console, but it seems that Microsoft is hoping to expand it by bringing in onto other platforms like iOS, Android, and even the Nintendo Switch.
This is thanks to an upcoming cross-platform developer kit (spotted by Avers via Engadget) which mentions that this SDK would allow developers to integrate Xbox Live into iOS, Android, and Switch games. This means if you primarily game on the Xbox and want a single place to consolidate all your progress and achievements, this SDK in theory should allow that.
We’ve known for a while that Microsoft has always been open to the idea of cross-platform play, but this is definitely taking things to the next level. Imagine being able to play a mobile game while you can also have access to your friends list from Xbox, or even play with them or chat with them.
This would also break down platform barriers for developers who might wish for their gamers to be able to communicate and play with each other regardless of platform, which has been something that has separated gamers in the past. It sounds like a grand idea but whether or not it will work in real life and how many developers adopt it remains to be seen. More importantly we have to wonder how other companies feel about Microsoft encroaching on their turf.