Project xCloud Comes to iOS in Limited Preview

Posted on February 12, 2020 by Mehedi Hassan in Games, Project xCloud, iOS, iPadOS with 10 Comments

Microsoft has been testing its new xCloud game streaming service with Android users for a few months now. The company promised to bring the preview to iOS and Windows as well, but users have been waiting for a long time.

That’s changing today, though — at least for iOS users. Microsoft just announced that it’s bringing xCloud to iOS users with a new limited preview.

Don’t get too excited, though. There is a pretty big limitation — because of Apple’s App Store policies. The new xCloud preview will only let users play Halo: The Master Chief Collection due to Apple’s App Store policies. “To comply with App Store policies, the preview experience on iOS may look and feel different for those who have been testing on Android,” Microsoft said. Microsoft won’t say exactly which App Store policy is preventing the company from giving users a full experience — and more importantly, all the xCloud games.

And unlike the Xbox Game Streaming preview app on Android, the iOS preview will only allow users to use xCloud and not use Xbox Console Streaming at this time.

Additionally, Apple’s TestFlight system only allows developers to create preview programs with a maximum of 10,000 users, and so Microsoft will only be inviting 10,000 users into the new xCloud preview on iOS. “Because of how iOS TestFlight works, those who are accepted into the iOS TestFlight preview may not necessarily participate for the full duration of the preview. As noted earlier, there are limited spaces available, so for testing purposes we may need to cycle through registrants in order to best utilize the available testing audience,” said Microsoft.

So yes, there is a lot of limitation. But if you still want to try out the new xCloud preview, and have an iPhone or iPad running iOS 13.0 or newer, you can sign-up for the preview here. 

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Project xCloud Comes to iOS in Limited Preview”

  1. lvthunder

    Which policy locks this to just the Halo games?

    • BigM72

      In reply to lvthunder:

      It might not be a published policy but in discussions with Apple at this stage. Apple has some pretty broad-brush policies that more or less give them carte blanche with their App Store and Microsoft won't want to upset them.

      Gaming is the biggest category in revenue terms for App Store and Play Store. Apple could be concerned about letting this app out of beta as it may harm their revenues...MSFT may have to eventually work out a revenue share with them.

  2. nbplopes

    Which policy is that? It would be a nice subject for good old journalistic research.

    People can steam games from their PS4 to iOS right now! While not violating any policies.

    • Andi

      In reply to nbplopes:

      The 30% cut policy. You must allow a subscribe button within any app if it has one outside the app store.

      • nbplopes

        In reply to Andi:

        I see no subscribe button on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify and many streaming services. Not only streaming but also book services. Something is missing in your statement.

        It may be the case that such rule is only applicable to software services, games being software. If that is the case ... it's a question of time until the rule narrowed down.

  3. halap3n0

    The sign up page is broken at the moment, always just shows sign in even when you are.

  4. faustxd9

    I suspect this is somehow tied to monetization of the app. Maybe MS can "give" this version of Halo away for free during the demo since it is older IP.

  5. RonV42

    Apple is probably concerned about them "vetting" game content to keep MS from competing with their game developers. If a generic game streaming service is allowed to exist Apple's plans for being a game platform will be impacted.