Microsoft Partnered with Rainway on Xbox Cloud Gaming

Posted on April 19, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile gaming, Project xCloud, Xbox with 3 Comments

A video streaming company called Rainway says that it partnered with Microsoft to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to iOS and the web.

“It was our efforts in the browser that put us on Microsoft’s radar,” Rainway co-founder and CEO Andrew Sampson claims. “You see, a Microsoft engineer used Rainway Gaming for a last-minute demo of Azure’s infrastructure in Africa. Our consumer product delivered 1080P @ 60 FPS gameplay to Chrome with no issues over the Azure backbone.”

That experience, he says, led to Microsoft seeking help bringing Xbox Cloud Gaming—previously codenamed Project xCloud—to iOS, where Apple’s anticompetitive business practices prevent Microsoft from creating a native client for the service.

“We cut the proverbial Gordian knot with the Rainway SDK,” Sampson says. “Our solution not only brings Xbox Cloud Gaming to Safari on macOS, iPad OS, and iOS devices, it also brings it to modern web browsers on Windows, Chrome OS, and even Linux. No extensions, no plugins, and most importantly no downloads.”

The Rainway SDK handles “all the complex cross-platform media presentation, input, and browser interoperability so that Microsoft’s engineers can focus on building a fantastic product user experience,” he continues. “In contrast, Rainway’s team of engineers handles the logistics of making sure streams are smooth, and as some have described making gameplay ‘indistinguishable from being native’.”

We’ll know soon enough: Microsoft revealed today that it will be releasing beta versions of its Xbox Cloud Gaming client for Windows and iOS tomorrow, and those clients are web-based.

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Microsoft Partnered with Rainway on Xbox Cloud Gaming”

  1. Chris_Kez

    Say hello to Microsoft's next acquisition target.

  2. covarr

    Last time I tried Rainway, about a year or so ago, it still had a ways to go compared to similar offerings from Parsec and Nvidia. If it's improved enough to merit this partnership, it might be worth another look on my part.

    If nothing else, it's also possible this will lead to Microsoft's involvement with (or even purchase of?) Rainway itself, which I have to figure would be good for all parties involved.