Xbox Cloud Gaming 'Absolutely Will End Up on iOS,' Says Microsoft Gaming Boss

Microsoft's vice-president of gaming, Phil Spencer, has told employees that the company is still intending to bring Game Pass streaming to the iPhone and iPad, according to Business Insider.

App Store and XCloud

Project xCloud was the working title of Microsoft's Game Pass cloud streaming service, which it says is its "vision for game-streaming technology that will complement our console hardware and give gamers more choices in how and where they play." The streaming service is bundled as part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription for $14.99 per month, with more than 100 games available.

Despite extensive testing via TestFlight on iOS, xCloud's launch on iOS was indefinitely postponed in August. Apple's App Store rules meant that Microsoft was unable to stream multiple games from the cloud via a single app, because Apple believes that its inability to review each game in the service's library is a potential security risk. Game Pass streaming would only be viable if each game was available as its own app under Apple's rules.

However, Microsoft seems to have renewed its intention to get Xbox cloud streaming on Apple devices using a workaround that would avoid the App Store. "We absolutely will end up on iOS," Spencer told Microsoft employees, according to Business Insider's sources.

Microsoft is reportedly targeting 2021 for the release of a "direct browser-based solution" to get around Apple's ‌App Store‌ restrictions and reach a considerably larger number of potential customers.

At the end of last month, Microsoft began publicly testing a new version of its Xbox app that lets Xbox users play games remotely on their iPhones and iPads using streaming over WiFi.

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Top Rated Comments

PlainviewX Avatar
50 months ago
Good to hear they're working on a way getting around it. It will be Apple's loss in the end.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
itsmilo Avatar
50 months ago
still cannot believe Apples answer was to upload all games for review
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gphone 2 Avatar
50 months ago
How is the security risk any different than a browser being a portal to any webpage? Apple's not reviewing all web pages? Or, surely, xCloud can operate in a manner that mimics the way a browser handles that security issue...

"Apple's App Store rules ('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/08/06/microsoft-xbox-game-pass-android-only/') meant that Microsoft was unable to stream multiple games from the cloud via a single app, because Apple believes that its inability to review each game in the service's library is a potential security risk. Game Pass streaming would only be viable if each game was available as its own app under Apple's rules."
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apparatchik Avatar
50 months ago
A PWA (progressive web app) that can be added to the home screen and behaves and looks indistinguishable from a native app is the way to go ATM due to Apple's restrictions. With the added benefit that once its done, it will run on anything with a compatible web browser (even maybe SmartTV's).
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vbctv Avatar
50 months ago
PWA's are the future in my opinion. And it's easy to install on iOS. You just hit the share button on the site and hit Add To Home Screen. If it is set up properly it will act as it's own app and will work outside of Safari browser. For my business we left the App Store over a year ago and set-up a PWA on iOS. Google & Microsoft allow PWA's in their App Store even.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
50 months ago

How is the security risk any different than a browser being a portal to any webpage? Apple's not reviewing all web pages? Or, surely, xCloud can operate in a manner that mimics the way a browser handles that security issue...

"Apple's App Store rules ('https://www.macrumors.com/2020/08/06/microsoft-xbox-game-pass-android-only/') meant that Microsoft was unable to stream multiple games from the cloud via a single app, because Apple believes that its inability to review each game in the service's library is a potential security risk. Game Pass streaming would only be viable if each game was available as its own app under Apple's rules."
XCloud presented no security risk. The statement that Apple released was simply generic boilerplate. I personally think Apple's objections were broached to protect Arcade.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)