Playing Xbox on iOS, Hands On

Posted on April 22, 2021 by Brad Sams in Project xCloud, Xbox with 10 Comments

This week, Microsoft sent out invites to let a small set of users play Xbox content on your iPhone and in your browser. If you are curious what the browser experience looks like, you can find that here, but for iOS users, there wait has been long but it is nearly over.

As of today, there are only a limited number of users who are able to access the iOS iteration of Xbox cloud gaming but unlike the browser, the experience is slightly different. Seeing as Apple won’t let the app in its store without Microsoft jumping through many hoops, to access the service, you go to, and from there, you can add an icon to your home screen and access the streaming service.

Along with using the Xbox cloud gaming service, I am also using a BackBone which is the peripheral you see in the video below; a review of the device coming next week.

If you don’t want to watch the video, the short version is that much like the browser, single-player titles are much better than multiplayer. That’s to be expected and hopefully, Microsoft will find a way to close the gap on the last 10% but for now, there is still room for improvement but early impressions are encouraging.

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “Playing Xbox on iOS, Hands On”

  1. Daninbusiness

    How does it compare to xCloud on Android via the app?

  2. crunchyfrog

    What's the controller you use? Have a link or model to share?

  3. Saarek

    Genuine question here. I’m an Xbox owner, love my console.

    To me the whole point of my Xbox is the library of games with the controller I like on a big arse tv with good sound.

    Why would anyone want to play a AAA game on such a tiny screen?

    • ringofvoid

      In reply to Saarek:

      When the bugs are worked out, you can seamlessly take the same AAA games & saves on the road with you. No, the experience won't be as good as at home on a 4k screen, but this gives the Xbox the same mobility that the Switch has.

    • rsfarris

      In reply to Saarek:

      What ringofvoid said + when it’s close to your face your field of view is similar to sitting back a distance from a TV. I’m assuming you haven’t done much handheld gaming (forgive me if that’s a wrong assumption), but it strangely doesn’t really affect the level of immersion because of distance and perspective. Highly recommend borrowing a Switch or something similar if you haven’t ever given it a go.

      • Calibr21

        In reply to rsfarris:

        Typical handheld gaming (switch) is equivalent to sitting about 12ft from a 65 inch TV. I sit about 8ft from my 65inch tv when gaming so handheld gaming is definitely a lot worse. Factor in the horrible aspect ratio cell phones have for gaming which makes the screen even smaller and it’s more like a 15ft equivalence, so it’s like sitting twice as far from the TV.

        I consider optimal distance to be 1.3 x Size of the screen for typical high resolution games.

  4. dnm

    How does the Backbone fare against the Razer Kishi ?

    • dnm

      In reply to dnm:

      Reviewers seem to prefer the buttons on the backbone (that I have viewed/read and mentions this). If you are an android user you are out of luck as there is no version with a USB-C connector.

      Razer Kishi is more portable but has no headphone/earphone jack, and only pass-through charging. It does support both iOS and android though.

  5. gadgetenvy

    Sorry, pet peeve time. There, their, and they’re sound the same but mean different things. Brad does not have the excuse of being an ‘English as a second language’ writer.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Spelling mistakes are just spelling mistakes. So maybe just tell us where the problem is instead of making us search for it.