Xbox Cloud Gaming is finally headed to PCs and iOS this Spring
posted Sunday Dec 13, 2020 by Scott Ertz
Since Microsoft first launched its Xbox Cloud Gaming preview, the testing strategy has raised questions. While the service was available to test through Apple's TestFlight system on iPhone and iPad to a limited number of users, Apple's App Store policies prevented the service from launching on those platforms. While that can be excused as a misunderstanding of the policies, which have been slightly amended, it's still not enough.
In addition, there has been one major and surprising omission - Windows. Though the game streaming from a console first launched on Windows through the Windows 10 Xbox app and is expanding to other platforms now, Xbox Cloud Gaming is still completely missing from the Windows 10 app. Fortunately, in Spring 2021, both of these issues will be solved. The move was revealed by Jerret West, who is responsible for Microsoft Gaming, in an Xbox blog post, saying,
In Spring 2021, we will take the next step in our journey to reach more players around the world by making cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate available on Windows PCs through the Xbox app and browser, and iOS devices through mobile web browser. By adding over a billion devices as a path to playing in the Xbox ecosystem, we envision a seamless experience for all types of players; whether it's playing Minecraft Dungeons with your Xbox friends using touch controls on an iPhone, or jumping into a Destiny 2: Beyond Light strike on a Surface Pro when you have a break between meetings.
For iOS, running inside of the web browser is not an ideal solution, but one that has worked for Google Stadia already. The irony of this is that it both reverts development for the iPhone to the early days before the App Store, and provides additional evidence that Apple's policies are anti-competitive.
For Windows, it's about time. The company's development tools should make building for and testing on Windows 10 far easier than the other platforms, yet here we are. It will be interesting to see if the inclusion of Windows on the platform will also bring Windows games to the platform, or if we will continue to only have access to Xbox games on the PC.