May 20, 2013 03:07 PM EDT
The new Xbox is supposed to be revealed live tomorrow at 1 pm. While people are speculating about its hardware capabilities and specifications it might also be worth considering its relationship to Android games.
The recent Google I/O developer conference introduced Google Play Game Services, in some ways it resembles Xbox Live but with more features relevant for Android users. The services include multiplayer, leaderboards, rankings and a cloud based save game system that allows games to be played across multiple devices.
This seems particularly prescient since Analyst Piers Harding-Rolls issued the following suggestion:
· 1. Take Xbox Live To The Most Popular Smartphones and Tablets: Core to maintaining console-device relevance in the home entertainment device battleground is engaging the audience on personal devices that are either used around the home or out and about. This means making Xbox Live services and content available on Apple and Google OS devices, as well as Microsoft's own Windows Phone and tablet products. IHS is looking for Microsoft to reveal a comprehensive roadmap which takes the current companion app strategy and delivers consumer access to Xbox Live-based video, music and games content on the most popular smartphones and tablets.
Microsoft must aggressively support competing smartphone platforms with its new Xbox strategy because of the weakness of its own mobile efforts. In 2013, Apple's iPhone and Google's Android will together represent 91% of the installed base of smartphones worldwide. By contrast, Microsoft's Windows Phone platform will decline to just 3% of the smartphone base from its 20% share in 2005, the year the last Xbox launched. [Bolding added for emphasis]
He also said that Microsoft must, “Make the platform easy to develop for and port to - to remove barriers to platform entry by content partners, to compete with smartphones and tablets that are easier to develop for.”
Incorporating Android game and services seems like it would benefit both Google and Microsoft (talk about a frightening partnership!). Services like Google + haven’t always proved to be wildly popular for most users as a replacement for Facebook or other social media sites. The consensus is that Google Play Game Services is a step in the right direction for Android but that it might not be sufficient to satisfy users. Microsoft has similar concerns about the future and flexibility of Xbox. If the two combined their services it could be a formidable force.
Interested in the future of Android gaming?
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