Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming is going to finally come to iPhones and iPads, suggesting the folks at Redmond have found a way to appease or work around Apple’s App Store restrictions.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer reportedly told Microsoft employees in an "all-hands" call that Xbox game streaming will come to iOS, reported Business Insider. Currently, xCloud game streaming is available on Android devices via the Xbox Game Pass app, but it has yet to come to other devices.
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That looks set to change, as Microsoft has previously said it plans to bring Xbox game streaming to the Xbox consoles and PC. And now Apple devices look to be in its sights.
Xbox game streaming was previously on iOS devices as part of an xCloud beta, but due to the restriction of the App Store, only Halo: The Master Chief Collection was allowed to be streamed. Since taking xCloud out of beta, the Xbox Game Streaming app has disappeared from the App Store. It’s not clear what restrictions xCloud ran into with the App Store, but it ceased testing of the streaming app back in August.
Apple first blocked Xbox Game Streaming from iOS due to claims that the company wouldn't be able to review every single game on the service. However, the Cupertino tech giant recently amended its rules to allow game streaming services, but only if each game was available as an individual app.
Apparently, Spencer told Microsoft employees that xCloud would be accessible on iOS devices in 2021 via a browser-based system, which would seemingly circumnavigate these App Store restrictions. Amazon appears to be going in a similar direction with its Amazon Luna game streaming service, which will also support iOS via browser-based play.
Given iPads and iPhones can be connected to the Xbox Wireless Controller via Bluetooth, both devices seem ripe for xCloud. And having tried Xbox Game Streaming on Android devices, we were suitably impressed. So it would be a shame if iPhone and iPad users were left out in the cold.
With the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S due for release on November 10, we’d not be surprised to see xCloud get expanded. We should know more about Microsoft's iOS streaming plans in the coming months, so stay tuned.
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Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.