Microsoft just moved one step closer to bringing Windows and Xbox gaming together. The Xbox Live SDK, which allows developers to build Xbox One-compatible apps, is now beginning to roll out to game developers. Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, announced the news Wednesday during a session at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
It’s unclear when the new SDK, which is currently being used by a small group of early partners, will be more widely available, but Microsoft says it will be “soon.” It will allow game makers to create universal Windows 10 apps that can easily run across the Xbox One, PCs, as well as Windows tablets and phones. It also lets Windows app developers easily port their apps to the Xbox.
“This SDK will provide access to the vast majority of Xbox Live services currently available on Xbox One, under a shared set of APIs, integrated with the Windows Store,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post. “We are also committed to making Xbox Live accessible to all game developers, regardless of size, which is why we’re introducing a new tier of Xbox Live that is designed to allow any developer to engage with the Xbox Live community.”
The company first revealed its plans to bring gaming on the Xbox and Windows closer together at January’s Windows 10 event, when Spencer first demoed Xbox-exclusive games running on a Windows PC.
Spencer also spoke about Microsoft’s plans to enable cross-buy support in the Windows 10 Store, part of a broader effort to improve the app store for developers. Cross-buy will allow developers to make their games available to players, regardless of whether they switch between Windows 10 devices.
“We are committed to making Windows 10 the best Windows we’ve ever had for gamers and game developers,” Spencer said during Wednesday’s session, where he continually emphasized the importance of gaming to Microsoft. “Our goal is to allow people to play games wherever they are.”