Future of Project xCloud on iPhone/iPad in Doubt

Posted on August 6, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile gaming, Project xCloud, Xbox with 15 Comments

Testers who were using Microsoft’s Project xCloud received some bad news this week when the beta expired a month earlier than expected, cutting off the beta service prematurely. But the problems may be deeper than expected: The availability of Project xCloud on Apple’s platforms has been postponed indefinitely.

“It’s our ambition to scale cloud gaming through Xbox Game Pass available on all devices, but we have nothing further to share at this time regarding iOS,” a Microsoft statement notes. “Our Project xCloud preview TestFlight period has ended on iOS and we are focused on delivering cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to Android customers beginning September 15.”

For those unfamiliar, Microsoft has been testing Project xCloud on Android publicly since October 2019 and it has expanded the testing with more and more games, and more availability to testers, over time. But it wasn’t able to launch a preview on iOS (and iPadOS) until February, and that preview has been limited to a single game since the beginning.

Microsoft said all along that Apple was the problem.

“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 noted back in February in a bit of understatement. In addition to only being able to offer a single game for testing, Apple restricted the number of testers Microsoft could sign-up, and it prevented the firm from letting its app stream games from an Xbox One console.

Given Apple’s history of denying apps like Xbox Game Streaming access to its App Store, the feeling now is that Apple will never approve this app in any form. Meanwhile, its Apple Arcade platform runs unfettered across iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Future of Project xCloud on iPhone/iPad in Doubt”

  1. darrellprichard

    Speaking of games.... Is this really a game Apple wants to play given antitrust scrutiny they’re now under?

  2. solomonrex

    Where's the antitrust lawsuit? An app store for a billion devices is a monopoly.

  3. c_j_martinez

    Meanwhile, its Apple Arcade platform runs unfettered across iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.” Maybe what MS should do is release this as a Windows 10 Mobile exclusive. That’ll show ‘em! ? oh, wait.

    • Hawaiianteg

      In reply to C_J_Martinez:

      exactly. Also its not like apple gets around this. Each game in apple arcade is vetted just like their rules say. I dont understand why people dont get this and make like apple is doing this to crush competition. This rule has been in there forever. You cant make something knowing going in that you are prob going to be blocked because of a rule thats already there before you even got there.

      Should they figure something out and maybe find a way to make these types of services work? Of course, but to say they are doing this to squash competition is utter fanboy malarkey.

  4. Andi

    When Apple started its crusade against Flash it was correct and it spurned HTML5 adoption. This time Apple is against the future just in principle because it impacts its app store economy.

  5. hassan_timite

    Well at least, i hope that this will teach Satya Nadella a lesson.

    You should never exclusively rely on third party platforms for consumption of your services.

    If Microsoft had its own mobile platform, XCloud could have been the killer app to triger massive adoption.

    Now not only Microsoft needs to rely on Android for XCloud, but for how long, but it is forbidden to implement it on IOS.

    If Nadella is smart he should consider bringing massive support for Windows reliability, stability and sustainability.

    Because as i used to say Windows should be the best platform for the consumption of Microsoft services.

  6. jdawgnoonan

    Apple has fair arguments for why they are not a monopoly, but if you use an iOS device they are absolutely a monopoly. I use and like Apple products, and I hope they lose in court. Their products are great, but I do not appreciate some of their practices.

  7. melinau

    Apple's restrictions will deprive their users of access to stuff. If Apple users are happy with this, that's their business, though other restrictive practices need more scrutiny.

  8. codymesh

    In reply to shameermulji:

    ??? you're asking for cloud gaming on a console?

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