Here's what we know so far. Windows Phone can natively access Xbox Live and a number of games like Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Bug Village, BulletAsylum and more. Apple iOS 4.3 devices can access Xbox LIVE via the My Xbox LIVE app -- Apple gamers can even play Kinectimals on an iPod Touch 3G or later, and an iPhone 3GS and later. The only popular OS missing from this multi-platform picture is Google's Android.
Here's why Xbox Live on Android makes sense: Sony.
Here in the States, anxious pocket gamers are still waiting for that mysterious PlayStation Suite to appear, a platform that will offer original titles as well as classic PlayStation favorites. Those of us who succumbed to the Xperia PLAY (guilty) PlayStation certified phone got a little taste with a pre-installed Crash Bandicoot surprise. Sony Tablet S owners now have an even larger library of Sony games to devour (you people suck). That said, based on what's available so far, Sony has seemingly infiltrated and took command of the #1 mobile OS in America.
But Sony's days of Android dominance are seemingly numbered.
Earlier this month, a Microsoft job listing appeared, seeking out a software development engineer "to bring the latest and greatest gaming and entertainment" to Windows Phone, iOS and other mobile platforms. "As a software development engineer on the team, you will have the opportunity to help define and design the experiences for the project, you will get to work with a team of energetic and talented developers, and you will have the luxury to work with all sorts of mobile devices to create the official Xbox LIVE mobile experiences," the listing stated.
As Forbes points out, Xbox LIVE games -- at least the mobile versions -- are only available on Windows Phone -- Kinectimals for iOS is a stand-alone title and merely unlocks extra cuteness on the console version. What Microsoft is supposedly working on now are games that can be installed and played together across the entire mobile spectrum.
"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," a spokesperson told Forbes. "To satisfy that need, we are working to extend a few of our Xbox experiences and titles to other platforms."
And that's a good thing. Thanks to Microsoft handing out wads of cash to Nokia to produce flagship Windows Phone devices, Microsoft's mobile assault is just now starting to take flight. But until saturation begins, those of us with an Xbox 360 and an Xbox LIVE account have either iOS or Android (and maybe one or two fall into the Other OS category) devices. Extending the Xbox LIVE experience to our phones would simply be kick-ass and a financial gain for the Redmond company.
But the Microsoft statement acquired by Forbes really doesn't say "we're working on multiplayer Xbox LIVE titles for multiple platforms," but seemingly backs up the Kinectimals launch and any other Microsoft-developed games landing on Android and iOS. Yet there's a lot of current buzz that iOS and Android will join the multiplayer fray -- stirred up by the news of Microsoft dropping the Microsoft Points system, seemingly making in-app microtransactions easier -- which would seemingly tie together Windows, Xbox, Windows Phone, Android and iOS together.
Eat that, Sony.
Can Microsoft pull it off? Google's "Ice Cream Sandwich" will likely help make it happen on the Android front given its "One OS To Run Them All" design. Still, if Spacetime Studios can develop an MMOG that runs on iOS, Android, and within Google's Chrome web browser, Microsoft can do it too. Threefold.
Who bets that Microsoft will make a big mobile reveal at E3?