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.

microsoftxcloud
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

star-affinity Avatar
39 months 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)
DeepIn2U Avatar
39 months 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)
techfreak23 Avatar
39 months 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)
Jmausmuc Avatar
39 months 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)
MacBH928 Avatar
39 months 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)
TopherMan12 Avatar
39 months 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)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Expected Later This Year With These 7 Exclusive Features

Tuesday January 24, 2023 4:53 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least seven exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the seven features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
Mac mini M2 2023

New 256GB Mac Mini and 512GB MacBook Pro Have Slower SSD Speeds Than Previous Models

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:11 pm PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M2 chip has a lower $599 starting price, the base model with 256GB of storage has slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the previous-generation model with the M1 chip and 256GB of storage. A teardown of the new Mac mini shared by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit reveals that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single 256GB storage chip, while the...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Pro Mac Mini

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
The new M2-series MacBook Pro and Mac mini models launched today, marking the debut of the first M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. We have the M2 Pro Mac mini on hand, and thought we'd take a look at the machine and do a series of benchmarks to see how it fits into Apple's lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Base model Mac mini machines come with either an M2 or M2 Pro...
apple tv 4k red image

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3

Tuesday January 24, 2023 10:10 am PST by
Apple today released tvOS 16.3, the third major point update to the tvOS 16 operating system that originally came out in September. Available for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, tvOS 16.3 comes six weeks after tvOS 16.2, an update that added Apple Music Sing. The tvOS 16.3 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the ‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌ by going to System > Software...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...