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RUMOR: Xbox Live Services, Games Coming to iOS, Other Platforms

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Posted on January 20, 2012 AT 02:29pm

THE BUZZ: Yes, as crazy as it may sound, Microsoft may be bringing the Xbox Live experience to other platforms such as Apple’s iOS collection of devices.

EGM’s TAKE: First, the basics of this information. According to insidemobileapps.com, a Microsoft spokesman “all but confirmed” to the site that the Xbox Live platform and games will be coming to non-Microsoft devices via the following statement:

“…while the Xbox Live experiences and games always work best on the Windows platform, we understand that some Xbox fans may be using other types of devices. To satisfy that need, we are working to extend a few of our Xbox experiences and titles to other platforms.”

 

(Microsoft currently has released a few iOS-related apps, but nothing on the scale of what seems to be being hinted at here.)

The site mentions that rumors to this effect started cropping up earlier this month, as job postings seemed to hint at the company looking for people with experience developing on iOS and Android platforms.

So—is this actually a believable rumor? First off, obviously Xbox Live won’t be coming to the PlayStation 3 anytime soon. Even if Microsoft was willing to do that—and a small part of me could see why the company might actually want to do so—I’d have a hard time seeing Sony allowing such a thing.

iOS, however, is a completely different story. Microsoft’s own mobile efforts really haven’t gotten very far, and given that the mobile industry is a far different beast than dedicated gaming hardware, there’s really no benefit to Microsoft keeping Xbox Live locked to Windows Phone 7.

There are over 100+ million iPhones out there in the world currently—that’s a lot of potential Xbox Live subscribers, and a huge potential for extra revenue for Microsoft through subscription costs. Even if they would have to share some of that fee with Apple, that’s still a gigantic source of additional revenue. Apple, as well, would have motivation for helping Microsoft bring more of the Xbox Live experience to iOS—in a world where Apple’s devices are giving handheld gaming systems a run for their money, that would instantly make the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch far more attractive as a gaming option.

Sure, the idea initially sounds totally crazy—but it isn’t. Microsoft would expand their control of the gaming ecosystem, they’d dramatically increase their potential profits, and Apple would then have an even more attractive device for current and future users.

What do you think? Could Xbox Live actually come to devices such as iOS? Would you like to see it happen?

Source: Inside Mobile Apps

Eric L. Patterson, Executive Editor
Eric L. Patterson got his start via self-publishing game-related fanzines in junior high, and now has one goal in life: making sure EGM has as much coverage of niche Japanese games as he can convince them to fit in. Eric’s also active in the gaming community on a personal level, being an outspoken voice on topics such as equality in gaming and consumer rights. Stalk him on Twitter: @pikoeri. Meet the rest of the crew.

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