Microsoft xCloud Beta for iPhone and iPad to Launch This Week [Updated]
Starting tomorrow, Microsoft will begin sending out invites to selected Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to test the Xbox Cloud Gaming limited beta for iPhone, iPad, and Windows 10 PCs using a web browser. Invites will be issued on a continuous basis to players in all 22 supported countries.
The new in-browser cloud gaming platform will be available at xbox.com/play, and will work in Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge. Microsoft plans to "iterate quickly" on the beta, and open up to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in the coming months. Games will be playable via a controller or touch controls for more than 50 games at first.
This will be the first time that Xbox Game Streaming has been available on iPhone and iPad since the service launched exclusively on Android devices last year. Last year, plans to bring an Xbox game streaming app to iOS stalled due to Apple's App Store rules, which forbids 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.
Microsoft then suggested that it would use a browser instead of an app to avoid Apple's App Store rules while still providing the same service. Microsoft says that creating a browser-accessible service has a number of advantages in making cloud gaming more accessible, as well as streamlining development into a singular, universal platform.
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.
Update: Beta testers invited to the program have confirmed to MacRumors, despite it not being mentioned in Microsoft's press release, that the Xbox Cloud Gaming beta also works on macOS.