Microsoft has officially confirmed that Xbox Cloud gaming beta will come to iOS, and Windows PC, in 2021. This is the Xbox game streaming service that Apple did not allow Microsoft to launch on App Store in its current form. Microsoft has been working on bringing it to more devices through web browsers, where there will virtually be no restrictions what so ever for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users.
The company included this announcement in its new blog post today where it shared record engagement numbers for Xbox Game Pass users. Microsoft’s gaming subscription has been a runaway success, so much that its new consoles, Xbox Series X|S, have been marketed as machines that can take full advantage of the all-you-can-play game options that it offers.
Xbox Cloud gaming beta will come to iPhone and iPad in 2021
Microsoft has been gradually rolling out Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to more markets, which will bring Project xCloud to more gamers. The company announced that it will bring the same experience to more gamers on Windows PC and iOS devices via Xbox Cloud gaming beta, starting next year:
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
Cloud gaming via browser will be available in beta, from Spring 2021. Users will be able to play all their favorite games that are available in the Xbox ecosystem, whether they are on their iPhone, iPad, or Surface tablet or laptop.
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. 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; whether it’s playing Minecraft Dungeons with your Xbox friends using touch controls on an iPhone, or jumping into a Destiny 2: Beyond Light strike on a Surface Pro when you have a break between meetings.
From the looks of it, the roll-out will be limited initially as Microsoft ensures that it sorts out performance issues during beta phase. An unfortunate casualty of Xbox Cloud gaming beta via web browser on iOS might be the lack of controller integration. Even though iOS supports Xbox and PlayStation controllers, they do not work with game streaming apps in Safari yet. Given how closely Microsoft and Apple have been working on things like Xbox Series X controller integration with iOS, and Apple TV app on Xbox, we would not rule out support for gaming controllers in Safari in the near future.