Microsoft's Project xCloud Streaming Game Service Available on iOS Through TestFlight Preview

Wednesday February 12, 2020 11:03 AM PST by Juli Clover

Microsoft in September introduced Project xCloud, a service designed to allow gamers to play games on any device, from PCs to consoles to mobile devices.

Project xCloud for mobile devices has been available on Android for a few months now, but as of today, Microsoft is expanding it to the iPhone and iPad through a limited TestFlight beta test.


The Project xCloud beta test is available in the United States, UK, and Canada, and due to TestFlight restrictions, it is limited to a total of 10,000 testers.

The iOS TestFlight preview is kicking off with a single game, "Halo: The Master Chief Collection" and while the Android test version also includes Xbox Console Streaming, that feature is not available on iOS at this time.

Microsoft says that it anticipates demand will exceed capacity, and that it will be unable to accommodate all applicants. Invites will be provided on a first-come first-served basis.

Participating in the preview requires a Microsoft account and associated Xbox gamertag, a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One Wireless Controller, an iPhone or iPad running iOS 13 or later, and access to a data connection that supports 10Mb/s down bandwidth.

iOS users who want to sign up for the beta test can do so by signing up on the Project xCloud website.

Microsoft says that it wants to work with Apple to bring the full preview of xCloud to more iOS customers in the future, and that it plans to use the feedback to improve the technology.

Top Rated Comments

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7 weeks ago
I take it that means we'll never see Halo: The Master Chief Collection running natively on MacOS.
I kind of miss not being able to run the original Halo: Combat Evolved on MacOS since Catalina ditched 32-bit apps.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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7 weeks ago


I take it that means we'll never see Halo: The Master Chief Collection running natively on MacOS.
I kind of miss not being able to run the original Halo: Combat Evolved on MacOS since Catalina ditched 32-bit apps.

oh this is clearly a move by Microsoft to take a stab at Sony’s PlayStation business and using what they learned from their PlayStation mobile attempts before (Xperia mobile line, PSP).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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7 weeks ago
That’s awesome. I was just thinking about this the other day. I signed up, but haven’t heard back yet. Funnily enough though, I forgot I signed up back in December. When looking for my welcome email, I saw that they accepted me into the preview program for Android about a month ago lol

Now all that needs to happen is Apple adding support for the Series 2 Elite Controller!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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7 weeks ago
Not a fan of xCloud so far.
For gaming on the Mac nothing beats Nvidia Stream Now. Been using it for 2 years straight and I am blown away. Never thought cloud gaming could work so well.
I am sorry if this sounds like an advertisement but I can literally play all my Windows only Steam Games on my 6 year old MacBook Pro with zero lag or latency for free.

Microsoft is surprisingly late to the game with a (currently) surprisingly disappointing service.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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7 weeks ago


Not a fan of xCloud so far.
For gaming on the Mac nothing beats Nvidia Stream Now. Been using it for 2 years straight and I am blown away. Never thought cloud gaming could work so well.
I am sorry if this sounds like an advertisement but I can literally play all my Windows only Steam Games on my 6 year old MacBook Pro with zero lag or latency for free.

Microsoft is surprisingly late to the game with a (currently) surprisingly disappointing service.

Selection seems awfully small on Geforce Now, also very limited regions. Microsoft has servers world wide, streaming games will be easy for them in all regions.

Its a very interesting concept I rather use this instead of building my own multi thousand PC, but..only if it works. A long time ago I played games on a service called OnLive and it kind of worked just like this works now.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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7 weeks ago


Sony is not even remotely in the same league here. As Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox division, said: Microsoft doesn't see Sony as competition anymore. Google Stadia and Geforce Now are what Microsoft is targeting. And here it comes: Microsoft has a vastly superior infrastructure. They invest over a billion bucks per year into growing their Azure cloud, and they have already spent over 20 billion so far. Sony does not even have a reliable network so far - and they are now beginning to use Microsoft's Azure cloud for their services.

nVidia cannot compete on that level. That leaves Google. Now who has more and older partnerships with the gaming industry? And who actually owns a bunch of AAA game studios?

Microsoft also no longer cares for console exclusive titles -- what they now want are titles that run on their streaming service. And they don't care if you use a PS4 or PS5 to stream those titles.

For Microsoft, all gaming - and all computing - is to take place in their Azure cloud. And they have they resources and power to see this through.

That isn't what Spencer said. He said Google and Amazon were Microsoft's primary competition. And that is true from an overall corporate perspective. From a gaming perspective, Sony is very much a competitor to Microsoft. The fact that they both continue to sell consoles (and will continue to for many years) is proof enough of that. And Xbox gaming uses Azure just like Sony will (probably) use Azure. But Xbox and Project xCloud are not Azure. Azure is bigger than Xbox gaming for MS. A company does not have to own a cloud to have a cloud presence. Microsoft will be happy to take money from Sony for Azure access even though it doesn't do xCloud any favors in helping it to gain market share. In this case, Microsoft and Sony are partners and competitors in the same way Apple and Samsung are both partners and competitors since Apple relies on Samsung for its panels.

So there are four primary players currently in the game streaming market: Sony with PS Now, Google with Stadia, nVidia with Geforce Now, and MS with the up and coming Project xCloud. Only two of those have existing platforms with studios and a massive game development presence: Microsoft and Sony.


For Microsoft, all gaming - and all computing - is to take place in their Azure cloud. And they have they resources and power to see this through.

That has never been stated as the goal for Azure and gaming with Microsoft. Microsoft wants to expand the net, so to speak, and bring in more gamers into the fold via streaming just like Sony, Google, and nVidia do. As long as their are gamers who want to game locally on their own hardware then most of these companies will be happy to supply them with exactly that: local non-streaming gaming options. The gaming industry was already a huge business before streaming. Why would they shut down such a massive revenue stream? If local gaming goes away it will be because consumers stop playing games locally.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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