Microsoft has outlined its plan to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming, its Xbox game streaming service, to iOS devices and Windows 10 PCs. The staged rollout marks the first vital expansion of the platform beyond Android devices, enabling access to Xbox titles across even more devices. It first launches in closed beta, accessible through an invite-only program. Here's what you need to know about getting hands-on today.
What to expect from Xbox Cloud Gaming iOS, PC
Microsoft brings Xbox Cloud Gaming to new devices through a web-based experience, bringing forward learnings from its Android rollout, tailored to iOS devices and Windows PCs. The platform's latest iteration delivers broader availability through the browser, launching via a dedicated page on the Xbox website.
While browser-based gaming isn't as tidy as a dedicated iPhone and iPad app, the move stems from well-documented App Store restrictions imposed by Apple. A previous public-facing feud saw Microsoft voice concerns around Apple's decision to block its iOS app, while Cupertino cited long-standing policies that impact its review process. "Unfortunately, we do not have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple App Store," Microsoft stated at the time. It saw the company double down on this new web experience, covering iOS and Windows PCs.
Xbox Cloud Gaming will be accessible on iOS and PC through "xbox.com/play," a new dedicated website hosting over 100 games from the cloud-enabled library. It supports top browsers like Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Safari, with baked-in support for controllers or touchscreen input.
During the early stages of testing, Microsoft announced a limited beta test, providing invite-only access to the new web-based gaming experience. It plans to add more Xbox users to the list "on a continuous basis," before a full launch sometime later this year. The first wave of invites recently rolled out to select Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members.
Xbox Cloud Gaming iOS, PC release date
Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft's first foray into on-the-go Xbox streaming, expands to iOS devices and Windows 10 PCs over the coming months. It's kicking off with a closed beta, ahead of a broader rollout scheduled later in 2021.
Microsoft launched the limited beta this April, stressing a drive to "iterate quickly" on its new web-based solution for game streaming. That includes bringing the service to the platforms for "all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in the coming months," suggesting a speedier rollout compared to its Android counterpart.
Which games support Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS, PC?
Microsoft hasn't provided a complete list of supported games available through Xbox Cloud Gaming ahead of its beta kick-off this Tuesday. We expect the lineup to somewhat resemble the existing Xbox Cloud Gaming games list for Android, featuring some of the best Xbox games, from blockbuster releases to experimental indies.
How to join Xbox Cloud Gaming iOS, PC beta
Xbox Cloud Gaming launched into "limited beta" this Tuesday, with invite-only access throughout the initial test period, ahead of broader public availability later this year. For now, Microsoft is inviting select users with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the all-inclusive Xbox subscription required to access cloud gaming services. This access will be delivered directly to the inbox of your email address associated with your Microsoft Account. Microsoft sent out the first invites to a subset of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members on Tuesday morning.
Unlike previous Xbox tests, there's no formal sign-up process or dedicated Insider program to access iOS and PC trials. Microsoft's only specified prerequisite is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, with invites rolling out from April 20 to active subscribers.
You can purchase Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $15 per month for a chance of being included in the beta, and ensuring access once publicly launched later this year.
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