Website The Verge is reporting that a source close to Microsoft’s dealings has revealed to them that the company is readying to move the popular Xbox LIVE service onto iOS and Android devices. Currently, Xbox LIVE is only available on Xbox consoles, Windows Phones and Windows 8. While there are already “My Xbox LIVE” apps for, example, Android phones, they’re limited in functionality and really only allow you to view your profile.
According to the source, Microsoft is building an open-source version of Xbox LIVE that will be scalable across a multitude of non-Microsoft hardware. With that in place, users will be able to log in with their existing Xbox LIVE Gamertag in order to earn Achievements, interact with friends and play online games – possibly even cross-platform online games.
This move to a scalable, open-source version of Xbox LIVE is in stark contrast to the already existing and highly walled-off and moderated version of Xbox LIVE on consoles. Microsoft is hoping to lure back game developers who have perhaps been put off by high costs associated with publishing games via Xbox LIVE. One needs only to look at Phil Fish and the Fez debacle for an example of this.
It’s a rather interesting notion, and a big change in gear for Microsoft if this turns out to be true. Obviously, if it is true, then Microsoft is moving to position Xbox LIVE as a competing service towards Apple’s Game Center and Google’s Google Play Games. Microsoft could get that right considering the already massive user base Xbox LIVE currently enjoys. Add to that the lure of Achievements and you have a pretty strong offering. What will be interesting to see is whether Microsoft will keep the Xbox LIVE Gold subscription requirements to play multiplayer mobile games.
In the meantime, Xbox fans, you can start accumulating Achievements on your iOS and Android phones by downloading and playing Microsoft’s Wordament, which is free and allows you to log in with your existing Xbox LIVE Gamertag. As you can see, Microsoft is already experimenting with Xbox LIVE type features on competing mobile devices.
Source: The Verge