xCloud, Microsoft’s game streaming service is rumored to be coming to iOS through newly developed web apps, built by the Xbox team.
Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service was recently launched for Android devices, notably skipping all iOS devices, such as iPhones, iPad, etc.
This entire issue was due to Apple’s strict App Store guidelines, preventing game streaming services from connecting to outside servers and services.
This was up until a month ago, when Apple updated its guidelines, partially allowing some game streaming services. It still doesn’t outright allow them, but they are allowed to exist on iOS devices now.
According to the App Store guidelines, in order for a game streaming app to be approved to be put on the App Store, the developer of the app would have to create individual app listings for every single game allowed on the platform.
Then, Apple would have to approve every individual game, which creates a major issue for developers. These issues are why Microsoft cut short their xCloud preview on iOS not long after launching.
Due to these issues with game streaming apps, Apple ended up changing their guidelines partially, allowing streaming apps to technically exist on iOS devices.
Apple guidelines include a little clarification, stating that “there is the open internet and web browser apps to reach everyone outside of the App Store.”
Following this announcement, reportedly Microsoft’s Phil Spencer has stated to an internal team, that the Xbox division is working on developing web apps to let consumers access the entire Game Pass library on iOS.
This approach would follow fellow cloud streaming game services Luna and Stadia’s approach to streaming, utilizing the universal internet browser to stream games to customers.
Sources have stated that Microsoft is not giving up on the individual app approach however, and has “hopes that [xCloud] will also eventually run on Apple’s platform.” This shows that the bigger picture for Microsoft, is to make xCloud and Game Pass Ultimate more accessible for everyone.
This is proved even further, due to another report from the same meeting, that xCloud is being developed to even be run on computers and Windows 10 PCs later this year.
This shows that even though game streaming is still a new concept, many of big tech companies, such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon are determined on expanding their services, investing into them, and making cloud streaming games as ubiquitous as possible.