Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox cloud gaming is coming to iOS in 2021. In a new blog post today, the company says that cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will come to iOS via web browser in spring of 2021.
This was first rumored in October. Microsoft had decided not to launch its game streaming service on iOS because of the App Store guidelines. Bringing cloud gaming to the iPhone and iPad via the web browser will allow Microsoft to skirt the App Store guidelines altogether.
Expanding Xbox to new players is central to our ambition of helping games and developers find an easy path to the world’s 3 billion gamers. We are doing this by embracing multiple devices and providing a consistent Xbox experience wherever you log in, whether that’s on your Xbox Series X|S, PC, Xbox One, Android device or — starting in Spring 2021 — your Windows PC and iOS device from the cloud.
Microsoft does note that cloud gaming on iOS via the web will technically be a “beta” at first, but no further details are provided. Note that this is also different than what’s available in the Xbox app, which allows Xbox console owners to stream games directly from their personal console.
For what it’s worth, Apple announced new App Store guidelines this year addressing game streaming services. The guidelines say that streaming game services are now allowed, but developers must submit each game to the App Store as separate apps in compliance with all guidelines.
Microsoft is the only the latest company to announce that its streaming game service will come to iOS via the web. Amazon announced recently that its Luna cloud gaming service will also be available on iOS via the web, while Google made similar promises for Stadia.
You can read more in Microsoft’s full blog post.
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