Microsoft has announced that it will be bringing the web version of its Xbox Game Streaming service xCloud to iOS and iPadOS devices, through the use of Safari and other web-based browsers to work around Apple’s App Store guidelines.
Recently, Amazon has announced its Luna cloud gaming service that works on iOS through a web app and it seems Microsoft plans to do something similar to this.
According to Business Insider, Microsoft gaming boss Phil Spencer revealed during a recent internal all-hands meeting that the company plans to release the web-based game streaming service sometime in 2021.
“We absolutely will end up on iOS,” said Spencer during the meeting “We’ll end up on iPhones, and iPads with Game Pass.”
Apple had been blocking game streaming services such as xCloud and Stadia from its App Store but have recently offered an olive branch to these services, allowing them to run their services on the iOS with some major restrictions.
According to Apple, these services will need to submit their games as separate apps though Microsoft and Google are free to create a new ‘catalogue’-style app that collates and links out to the individual apps.
Evidently not impressed by Apple’s approach, the status of xCloud’s launch on iOS devices was left in limbo till now. With a web-based version of xCloud, Microsoft will be able to bypass the App Store and run its service as intended.
On their part, Apple has mentioned that the prohibition of cloud game services on its devices was to help safeguard its customers.
“The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers,” a spokesperson said in an interview with Apple Insider in August.
“Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers.”