Xbox Game Pass and the xCloud game streaming service will arrive on Apple devices one way or another, Microsoft has reportedly told employees.
According to a report from Business Insider, Xbox chief Phil Spencer told staff that the service, which is already available on Android devices, is targeting 2021 for an iOS release. During an internal meeting, Spencer reportedly said: “We absolutely will end up on iOS.”
With Apple’s App Store guidelines currently providing obstacles ahead of an iOS launch, Microsoft will look to develop a browser-based version of the service to get around the restrictions, according to the sources.
Spencer is targeting a “direct browser-based solution,” those people familiar with the plans revealed. That would be similar to Amazon’s desire to bring its recently-revealed Luna game streaming service to iOS via a web browser, rather than play ball with Apple’s guidelines.
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The hold up is because Apple would require every game available as part of the service to be reviewed and available to download individually from the App Store. That would undermine Microsoft’s offering and be a logistical nightmare to execute.
The firm is currently offering xCloud game streaming as part of the Game Pass Ultimate subscription, enabling users to connect their Xbox controller to a mobile device and play more than 100 games over the cloud.
The bargain subscription service also features access to Xbox Live online gameplay, monthly free Games With Gold and the Xbox Game Pass, which features access to first-party Microsoft studio games as well as more from EA Play, and with more coming after Microsoft’s Bethesda purchase.
Microsoft and Apple currently haven’t commented on the story, with both companies seemingly remaining cagey at present, knowing the solution could have long-lasting knock-on effects for both.
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