"Xbox Live coming to Nintendo Switch" is certainly an exciting headline, but you probably don't need to get all that excited about what it means. Yet. Major game publishers are still competing with each other, of course, but more and more they're finding ways to cooperate and work together.
Microsoft's SDK comes after Epic Games broke boundaries with cross-platform play inside Fortnite. Xbox Live users will be able to "take their gaming achievement history, their friends list, their clubs, and more with them to nearly every screen", the description said.
Several of Microsoft's own games already come with Xbox Live support across numerous devices. At the moment, it seems like the cross-platform version of the app would be mostly limited to social features, but for Microsoft to even consider bringing its Xbox Live brand to Switch is certainly a surprise. In a presentation scheduled for the Game Developers Conference 2019 (GDC19), spotted in the schedule by Windows Central, the company has promised to bring Xbox Live to 'over 2B [two billion] devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDC [Xbox Developers Kit]'. Basically, Microsoft wants to provide developers with the tools to implement Xbox Live across nearly all major platforms, expanding the network's reach to far more screens. Imagine an announcement by Netflix that it has reached a deal where you could watch several of its exclusive shows on Hulu, and you get an idea for how unusual this move could be. - 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.
Problems were first flagged within the hour and appear to be affecting a large chunk of Xbox Live users. It will make Microsoft the first console maker to open up its platform to third-party systems.