Microsoft has already had a go at mobile gaming with the Windows Phone, but now that we've all sort of forgotten what that was, it appears to be trying a new tactic - bringing Xbox Live to mobile.
As spotted by Windows Central, the Xbox maker is gearing up for a talk at GDC 2019 to discuss its new SDK that will allow developers to integrate Xbox Live across iOS, Android, and Switch. It's already done it before - Minecraft, anyone? - but now it appears to be opening the doors for all developers.
That means devs could allow for cross-platform play between Xbox, PC, mobile, and Switch to any games using the Xbox Live framework. You can also expect achievements and friends lists to be shared between platforms, as well as other Xbox Live-related gubbins.
Presumably this won't also give you access to online gaming, and on Switch at least you'll still need a seperate subscription for that. But the basic version of Xbox Live is free, so this should be open to anyone to use.
Honestly? I'm really confused about all this. Why would Nintendo want Switch players to be able to connect to another service to access friends lists and achievements? Minecraft got a free pass on this because Microsoft owns it, but will the platform holders really be OK with smaller developers getting access to this?
This feels a lot more like groundwork being laid for Microsoft's planned xCloud service, which will bring Xbox games to mobile through streaming. That will presumably need an Xbox Live account as well, so it makes sense to start rolling out support early.
But there's something about the whole thing that just isn't fitting together in my head. Microsoft services on a Nintendo console? Bumping up my Gamerscore by playing on my iPad? It feels a little wrong, and like something eleven-year-old me would've espoused as the future of games or something.
We'll find out more information about the whole thing in March, when the GDC talk actually happens. Hopefully Microsoft will make it a bit easier to digest for us non-technical people - those talks can be super-hard to follow.