Google on Thursday announced iOS support for its cloud gaming service Stadia, following in the footsteps of Microsoft turning to mobile web to circumvent Apple’s App Store restrictions. Google says it has built a progressive web app version of Stadia that will run on the mobile version of Apple’s Safari browser, similar to how Microsoft intends to deliver competing for xCloud services on iOS next year.
But Google intends to beat Microsoft with public testing of its version in the coming weeks. Nvidia also announced today that a beta web app version of the GeForce Now cloud gaming service on iOS is available today.
- Google Stadia now lets you message your friends
- Destiny 2 is free, with Google Stadia starting November 19
- Google Stadia are still preparing 400 games
Apple in late August clarified its rules around cloud gaming, notifying providers such as Google and Microsoft that their apps were not allowed on the App Store due to restrictions Apple has placed on software that streams games to iPhones and iPads. Apple finally relaxed its limits after public criticism from Microsoft and others, but the App Store still requires companies to submit individual games for App Store review. Microsoft called the compromise a “bad experience for consumers” before deciding to develop a version of the xCloud web app for iOS instead. Now, Google is doing the same thing.
The announcement of iOS testing coincides with the first anniversary of Stadia’s public launch last fall. Google also announced today that its first slate of free-to-play games would be coming to Stadia, following the revelation earlier this week that the base version of Bungie’s Destiny 2 would no longer require a $10 per month Stadia Pro subscription and can now be played by anyone with a Google account that signs up for Stadia. And State Share, the streamer-friendly Stadia feature that allows players to share their exact point in a game with viewers or followers on social media, will be launching next January with the release of IO Interactive’s Hitman 3.
Google is also using its first anniversary as an opportunity to tout fresh Stadia statistics. The company won’t yet reveal how many people have signed up for Stadia or subscribed to its Pro service. But the company says it’s introduced more than 80 games in the last 12 months to the platform, with plans to support more than 135 titles by the end of the year. It’s also added more than 100 new features to the platform in the last 12 months, including family sharing for the first time earlier this month.
The library also includes more than 50 Stadia Pro games that have been made available free of charge since the launch of the service, with more than 30 active titles available starting this month. (Some games were added to Stadia Pro for a limited time before being removed, similar to limited game rewards as part of Sony PlayStation Plus and Microsoft Xbox Live Gold subscriptions).
To celebrate the upcoming release of Cyberpunk 2077 CD Projekt Red, Google is also running a pretty good promotion: ordering games before December 10 or buying the release version before December 17 will give you a Stadia Premiere Edition bundle, which includes a Stadia controller and a Chromecast Ultra for streaming. Stadia to television. However, the promotion is only while supplies last, and Google didn’t say how many units it will share. So, it’s best to pre-order early if you’re interested in making Stadia the platform you use to play Cyberpunk 2077.