Microsoft recently announced that xCloud streaming for the Xbox Game Pass, which lets users have unlimited access to a large game library for $14.99 a month, is coming to iOS and PC in the first half of 2021 for beta testing. This service is currently available on Android devices and has over 150 games available for streaming. Microsoft is optimistic for this release of their game streaming service to other platforms with Xbox Vice President, Jerret West, saying in a blog post announcing the expansion:
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.
There have been previous attempts made by various companies to bring cloud streaming to iOS which have been subsequently halted by Apple which led many companies to follow Nvidia’s lead of using a browser extension to stream instead of a dedicated app. While Nvidia’s GeForce Now was the first streaming service to launch, it has been now joined by Amazon Luna and Google Stadia has plans in the works.
Microsoft’s Xbox game pass will be the next game streaming service to join the pack. Previous ideas to add a streaming service to iOS devices would have required users to purchase individual games from AppStore pages, which Apple would have to approve individually. Therefore, Microsoft decided against such plans saying it would be “a bad experience for their customers.” In September, Apple eased up its restrictions and opened its AppStore to game streaming, albeit with many obstacles still in the way. But by using a browser to stream, Microsoft bypasses Apple’s restrictions.
However, PC users can look forward to using both the Xbox app and the browser to stream games.
In the same announcement, Microsoft also stated it has plans to expand its game pass service to multiple countries including Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.