Microsoft Wants to Launch Xbox Games Store on iPhone

Microsoft is reportedly preparing to launch an Xbox games store on the iPhone as early as next year, but the plans depend on multiple regulatory measures.

App Store and XCloud
In an interview with the Financial Times, Microsoft's gaming chief Phil Spencer said the app's launch hinges on regulators approving the company's acquisition of video game maker Activision Blizzard, as this would give Microsoft a wider portfolio of mobile games. Second, the app would only be able to launch if the EU's Digital Markets Act and other regulations allowing for alternative app stores on iOS are enforced.

"We want to be in a position to offer Xbox and content from both us and our third-party partners across any screen where somebody would want to play," Spencer told the Financial Times. "Today, we can't do that on mobile devices, but we want to build towards a world that we think will be coming where those devices are opened up."

In December, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported that Apple was preparing to allow alternative app stores on the iPhone in order to comply with the Digital Markets Act, which is expected to come into effect in March 2024. Gurman said Apple was aiming to roll out the changes with an iOS 17 update next year for iPhone users in Europe only. This means the Xbox games store would not be available in the U.S., at least initially.

Xbox already offers a cloud gaming service on the iPhone, but games are only playable via the web instead of the App Store. Apple has faced increasing regulatory scrutiny over its tight control of the App Store, leading the company to make changes in some countries, such as allowing alternative payments in South Korea.

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Top Rated Comments

PeterZed Avatar
16 months ago
I am eagerly awaiting the launch of alternative game stores on the xBox!!! Oh wait is that not a thing? I'm confused.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
16 months ago
How about launching Xbox Games specifically for the iPad/iPad Pro? I would love to play Xbox Games on a bigger screen display.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spaceboi Scaphandre Avatar
16 months ago
This would be killer. The iOS and Mac App Stores are absolute nightmares trying to find software and games on them. What I would give to be able to buy mobile apps and games from Steam or other places.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spaceboi Scaphandre Avatar
16 months ago

Apple should allow sideloading but not 3rd party app/game stores. What a terrible experience that would be
Steam is a third party app store and it's the #1 Windows app store on the planet, a juggernaut that even Microsoft and Sony can't ignore and have brought their exclusives to. Said app store is also available on Mac and has been since 2010
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
16 months ago

Apple should allow sideloading but not 3rd party app/game stores. What a terrible experience that would be
Mac has always allowed purchases of apps from any source. No big problems. No big security issues. No banking hacks stealing all of us Mac users money. No viruses locking up all of our Macs with ransomware.

We believe your statement only because Apple has said it... reinforced by suggestions of security compromises, etc... in spite of the enormous real evidence experienced by all of us that Mac "freedoms" to buy apps anywhere does not result in complete devastation of life as we know it.

Competition means better prices. Not every other store would require 30% off of the top. Competition limited to only trimming that down could deliver better prices while paying the creators of the apps the same... or more.

I'm an Apple everything guy but it's easy to see that the flexibility to source apps from beyond the Apple store would be no more trouble than the same flexibility we all enjoy with our Macs now. It can't be fine with the latter but world destroying for the former.

Alternate stores would simply be bad for Apple profits by completely controlling a single source of apps in one store. All of the nonsense about third party stores revolves around protecting that very lucrative arrangement above all else. All of the rationale made up in support of that is invented to make us believe that it is better to get our apps from only a single source at whatever price that store OWNER wants.

If we alter the scenario by slugging in some other name as store owner- say Microsoft, Google, Samsung, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast or similar- do we still make very passionate arguments for a single source of anything we buy being better for us consumers? Almost certainly not... because one seller is always very bad for consumers.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
k1121j Avatar
16 months ago

This would be killer. The iOS and Mac App Stores are absolute nightmares trying to find software and games on them. What I would give to be able to buy mobile apps and games from Steam or other places.
I’ll agree with that they are a mess with searching / discovering poor filters. You pretty much only get to see what Apple wants (meaning their select catagories and filters) you to see otherwise you have to pretty much search by name to discover
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)