Microsoft has confirmed its timeline for bringing its xCloud cloud gaming service to Apple’s iOS platform and Windows PCs, with the company saying it will support iPhones, iPads, and PCs from spring 2021. Microsoft has clarified the timing in a blog post published on Wednesday. The PC version of xCloud will ship via the Xbox app for Windows 10, the company said.
“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,” Jerret West, Microsoft’s Xbox head of marketing, wrote in a blog post. “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.”
xCloud will still bundle as part of Microsoft’s $15-per-month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. Microsoft said it plans to roll out beta cloud games via Game Pass to more markets next year, including Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico.
Due to limitations, Apple has placed on iOS apps and cloud services. Microsoft unable to support the iPhone and iPad when it launched xCloud in beta for Android in September. The two companies are in a public row over whether xCloud in its current form could be on the iPhone after Apple said such a service needed to submit individual games for review.
Although Apple offered Microsoft a compromise by allowing cloud gaming apps to run cloud clients on iOS as long as they still submitted individual titles for review, the Xbox makers said such a solution would be a “bad experience for consumers” and decided to focus on offering the mobile web as an instead.
Other cloud game providers have decided to do the same, and both Google and Nvidia are announcing mobile web versions of their respective services. Nvidia is now available, with the GeForce Now cloud service running on iOS in beta. Google plans to launch an iOS version of its Stadia service via the mobile web before the end of the year.