- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate includes a cloud gaming platform called xCloud that lets Android users stream full Xbox games across the cloud.
- Apple does not allow Microsoft to bring Game Pass to iPhone and iPad in its current state, so Microsoft plans to bypass the App Store and put Game Pass online.
- In 2021, iOS users will have access to Game Pass through their browser.
Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are just a few weeks away from launch, but one of the most exciting prospects for the next generation is to be able to play console games on any device you own. After several months of testing, Microsoft’s cloud game service finally launched xCloud for the public on September 1
The only real downside to xCloud is that it does not work on iOS devices, because Apple is a huge spoilsport. (Okay, it’s a little more complicated than that, but the point is that Apple says xCloud breaks its App Store rules). Microsoft was determined to find a way to bring the service to iOS, but it was unclear how, at least for this Business Insider the report revealed that the company may have a smart solution for Apple users.
According to Business InsiderXbox CEO Phil Spencer told staff during a hands-on meeting this week that Game Pass will come to the iPhone and iPad in 2021 using a “direct browser-based solution.” By putting the service online, Microsoft would no longer be forced to fight any of Apple’s confusing policies, and would instead direct iPhone and iPad users to a site where they could play games over the cloud.
Cloud gaming services such as Google’s Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud have been blocked from the App Store for as long as they exist, but Apple has recently tried to meet the platforms in the middle by changing its rules. Instead of denying the services directly, Apple said they could come to the App Store as long as they made each game into their own app that had to be downloaded separately from the App Store and then linked to the main app. Microsoft was not interested, and we did not hear anything else.
Apple could simply partner with these companies to make the process easy for everyone involved – including iPhone and iPad owners who want to play Xbox games on the go – but instead Microsoft is forced to build a whole new gateway in its cloud game solution for iOS users. Apple, why do you have to be like that?