Xbox Cloud Gaming Coming to iOS in Spring 2021

Microsoft has today announced that its cloud-based gaming subscription service, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, will be available to iOS users starting Spring 2021.

xbox logo

The announcement detailed that, as expected, Game Pass will not be coming to iOS via an app, but rather through a web browser.

In Spring 2021, we will take the next step in our journey to reach more players around the world by making cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate available on Windows PCs through the Xbox app and browser, and iOS devices through mobile web browser. By adding over a billion devices as a path to playing in the Xbox ecosystem, we envision a seamless experience for all types of players; whether it's playing Minecraft Dungeons with your Xbox friends using touch controls on an iPhone, or jumping into a Destiny 2: Beyond Light strike on a Surface Pro when you have a break between meetings.

Earlier this year, plans to bring an Xbox streaming app to iOS stalled due to Apple's App Store rules, which forbid apps from streaming multiple games from the cloud via a single app. This is 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.

As Microsoft suggested earlier this year, using a browser instead of an app allows the company to avoid Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules while still providing the same service. Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that Apple "remains open to the user experience we would like people to see."

Microsoft's games streaming service is bundled as part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription for $14.99 per month, with more than 100 games available.

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Top Rated Comments

Sakurambo-kun Avatar
46 months ago
Really self defeating for Apple to block this being an app. It makes them look petty, small minded, and greedy.

All the Game Pass app does is allow people to stream from a subscription service, just like Netflix, Amazon etc. That's it. It's not a store, it's a streaming service. Apple need to remove their inflated head from the sand.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Marbles1 Avatar
46 months ago
Apple continue to do nothing for gaming on their platforms; in fact they go out of their way to cripple the experience.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsrcool1234 Avatar
46 months ago
no doubt a crappier experience compared to native, thanks to Apple's incompetence.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FasterQuieter Avatar
46 months ago
Apple couldn't be more in the wrong here.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ozzymo Avatar
46 months ago

Already has been since iOS 13.


Go build your own platform. Then you can dictate whatever you like on it.


They seem to be doing just fine...your advice not withstanding.


Incompetent all the way to 2 Trillion.
Gotta love this kind of thinking. Just because they are the wealthiest company in the world means that everything they do is right. Forget the fact that Netflix and Hulu don't have to upload every single show for Apple to "review" because Apple was scared of going up against Netflix. The cult is strong in this one!
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ozzymo Avatar
46 months ago

It does not make sense that Apple denies Gamepass because the ESRB reviews every game on xbox, so Apple thinks it knows better than the ESRB. In fact, one could argue that the ESRB or similar organization should be involved in the Apple review process of games as an independent organization. It is baffling that Apple is permitted to allow games on the app store without an ESRB rating, even if it does want to add it's own review process after/before an ESRB rating.

It also does not make sense that Apple denies Gamepass because a user can download a game to their xbox via an iphone game pass app already and then play it from their xbox in the Xbox app already. Apple is simply eliminating A -> C, not A -> B -> C.

Furthermore, how is it that the Mac can be more secure than the iPhone because the Mac allows browser downloads but the iPhone does not?
Apple thinks it knows better than the entire world. And this has more to do with $ and competition. Who in their right mind would subscribe to Apple Arcade and play all those throwaway kiddie games if you could get a real game subscription like Xbox Game Pass. Also of course Apple doesn't like the fact that it wouldn't be getting their juicy 30% cut of every game that would be played through xbox game pass. Now Apple will get nothing since it won't be going through the app store. With that in mind, this sounds like a pretty good trade off to me.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)