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Microsoft will finally expand its Xbox cloud gaming service to iOS and PCs next spring.
The xCloud service is currently available as a free perk with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which costs $14.99 a month. Since September, subscribers have been able to stream Xbox titles over the internet to their Android smartphones and tablets. Now iPhone users and Windows laptop owners will soon be able to enjoy the xCloud streaming too.
“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,” the Xbox team said in today’s announcement.
But why no xCloud app for iOS? Blame Apple. Back in September, the company announced strict rules around cloud-gaming apps, which required companies to submit and publish each offered game as an individual title on the App Store. With 100+ games on xCloud at the moment, that was a no-go for Microsoft. However, Apple is giving developers free rein for cloud-gaming services that launch directly through the mobile browser.
According to Microsoft, xCloud’s expansion to PCs and iOS promises to open the Xbox ecosystem to an additional one billion devices—and potentially boost subscribers to Xbox Game Pass, of course.
Microsoft plans on sharing more details about its cloud-gaming ambitions early next year. But the company won’t be alone in offering a cloud-gaming service for iOS. Last month, both Nvidia and Google’s Stadia announced they’re bringing their cloud-gaming services to the operating system as well via the mobile browser.
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