It’s been a rough stretch for cloud game streaming on iOS as of late, with some big name companies not being able to launch their products on Apple’s devices as they’d like. But, some companies have found a workaround: Safari. And as such, one of the biggest names in the game (no pun intended) is finally almost ready to launch its service for iOS devices.
It’s been a long time coming, so to speak. Microsoft actually launched its xCloud game streaming service for iOS devices in a limited capacity earlier this year. However, that (very) limited beta test for some users only offered access to one game, and it would never make it out of that testing phase. While xCloud game streaming launched on Android (in a broader beta), iOS devices never got the same deal.
The reason, of course, was Apple didn’t allow those types of services on iOS devices, because they broke existing App Store rules and regulations. Now, Apple has changed its rules, technically allowing cloud-based game streaming services to exist for iOS devices. But the rules aren’t in the developers’ favor, and, as such, those services probably won’t launch as App Store options any time soon.
But, Safari is a workaround that some companies are ready to capitalize on. Microsoft is one of them. It was rumored that Microsoft would be bringing its xCloud game streaming service to iOS devices through Safari earlier this year, and now Microsoft has made it officially official. The company confirmed today that xCloud and its wildly successful Xbox Game Pass Ultimate monthly subscription are coming to iOS devices in the Spring of 2021.
The same treatment is coming to PC within the same timeframe, too:
Expanding Xbox to new players is central to our ambition of helping games and developers find an easy path to the world’s 3 billion gamers. We are doing this by embracing multiple devices and providing a consistent Xbox experience wherever you log in, whether that’s on your Xbox Series X|S, PC, Xbox One, Android device or – starting in Spring 2021 – your Windows PC and iOS device from the cloud.
Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service will be available via Safari on iOS devices, so it won’t be a standalone app. That may mean it might not be as smooth an experience as some iOS device owners might like, but it’s certainly better than nothing.
Microsoft will keep hyping this for the next few months, so we’ll have more to share by then. Right now, we at least know xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will arrive for iOS devices in a few months’ time. Are you looking forward to the launch?