I'm eagerly awaiting the details further but apparently Microsoft is planning to lease out or spread out the Xbox Live-style of Friends Lists, Achievements, and perhaps other aspects to many other platforms... most notably for this forum, the Nintendo Switch.
The Verge said:
Some iOS and Android games already have Xbox Live Achievements, but they’re only enabled in titles from Microsoft Studios and there’s not many of them available right now. Microsoft describes this new push as much bigger. “Xbox Live is expanding from 400 million gaming devices and a reach to over 68 million active players to over 2 billion devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDK,” says the GDC listing.
XBOX LIVE CROSS-PLATFORM PLANS ARE PART OF MICROSOFT’S BIGGER PUSH FOR GAMING Xbox Live cross-platform play will allow developers to integrate in friends lists, multiplayer functionality, and achievements into existing mobile games. It’s an important part of Microsoft’s new gaming mission to reach outside of its traditional PC and Xbox markets, and bring software, services, and games to players on rival platforms. Microsoft is also working on an xCloud game streaming service that will stream Xbox games to PCs, consoles, and mobile devices later this year.
I really hope this means that Nintendo will have their own thing but I guess it doesn't quite matter if it's still Xbox-branded. Would just feel weird. The idea of Microsoft helping Nintendo though with expanding their online in this way is pretty neat. Could make cross play or cross buy pretty interesting also. I guess we shall see.
What are you most hopeful about with this news? What concerns you the most?
I'm pretty sure it's just a way for you to tie progress in cross-platform multiplayer games to your Xbox Live profile. It won't be a system-wide thing or anything, just an in-game prompt to sign in, like a Fortnite account or Ubisoft Uplay account or whatever.
Check the whole article for a little more context. I just took part of it. Wherever they mention consoles, the Switch is part of that. Secret_Tunnel is probably right, though it would be nice to see this expanded in some way. Maybe they can help Nintendo with their own online because hell, why not as part of the deal?