Microsoft today announced that Xbox Cloud Gaming would be coming to Apple phones and tablets. The long-expected move will begin with limited beta testing, with invites being sent out to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members from tomorrow.
This will now allow cloud gaming on Apple devices, as the function was refused by Apple, who didn’t want to allow access to such gaming content via the App Store – despite Netflix and the like providing video content in that way.
Microsoft will use a browser-based system to workaround Apple’s App Store lockout. Which also means that cloud gaming will be available on Windows 10 PCs with support for Edge, Chrome and Safari browsers. Amazon’s Luna service, still in early access, uses a similar system to reach Apple device users.
The beta test will run in all 22 currently supported countries. And Microsoft promises to bring support for more devices and players over time. Both Bluetooth controllers and touch devices will be supported via the browser access. Plus it will provide a single, unified landing page for Xbox Game Pass.
“Great to get to share progress team has made, looking forward to continuing to grow Cloud Gaming with the community. Browsing XGP library, instantly trying a game and either keep playing in browser and/or download to continue on console or PC is a really nice discovery feature,” commented Phil Spencer via Twitter.
And he also noted that PC titles would be coming to the service as well at some point.
It’s a big next step for the future of cloud gaming. Bringing the huge user base of iPhone and iPad users into the mix. While cloud-only subscribers are likely to be few and far between for some time yet, the ability to mix and match Xbox or PC gaming with both major mobile platforms makes for a compelling case for potential sign-ups.