The Xbox mobile game store will launch in July — what we know so far

Xbox logo on an iPhone screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We’ve been hearing news about the possibility of Xbox launching its own mobile gaming store for a while now — especially with Apple’s changes to third party app installs in the EU. Now it’s been confirmed that this store will be launching in July.

This was announced by Xbox president Sarah Bond at the Bloomberg Technology Summit earlier this week (via The Verge). She revealed the launch window for the new mobile game store, and Microsoft’s plans to avoid all the strict rules Apple has in place for the App Store.

Apparently the store will start with popular first part games like Candy Crush and Minecraft — though it will eventually expand to third parties as well. Bond took a shot at Apple too, by revealing that the store will also be launching on the web since “that really allows us to have it be an experience that’s accessible across all devices, all countries, no matter what and independent of the policies of closed ecosystem stores.”

The store will apparently “extend” beyond the web, which suggests Microsoft does plan to launch an actual mobile app store at some point. When that might be isn’t clear, though it will obviously have to contend with the fact third party stores on iPhones are only allowed within the EU.

The store will apparently “extend” beyond the web, which suggests Microsoft does plan to launch an actual mobile app store at some point.

It also sounds like the store will feature key parts of the Xbox experience as well, with a platform and experience that “goes truly across devices”. This includes you, your library and your rewards can move around with you. Though how this differs from the current Xbox app on Android and iOS isn’t exactly clear.

Then again the defining feature is going to be the ability to download and install mobile games — assuming you have the right device and home address. Here’s hoping that this also means Microsoft will be bringing the ability to purchase Xbox games for console and PC to this new store, rather than forcing mobile users to go through the Xbox website. 

Sony lets you buy PS5 games from its mobile app, there’s no reason why Microsoft shouldn’t offer the same. Plus there’s no reason why there needs to be separate Xbox and Game Pass apps. So at the very least it’s about time those bits of software got merged together as well. It’s less confusing that way.

We’re just going to have to wait until July to see how things turn out, and what the new Xbox mobile game store looks like and how it behaves outside of EU territory.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.