Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) will officially arrive on iOS and PC tomorrow, April 20th. The service will arrive on devices via browsers, allowing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers to play Xbox games on iPhones, iPads, and PCs. Microsoft is keeping this beta rather limited, though, and requiring players to be invited to participate in the testing phase.
The service will be accessible at http://www.xbox.com/play, where Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers who have been invited to the beta will be able to play Xbox games through Edge, Chrome, or Safari browsers. More than 100 games will be available, and testers will be able to use a compatible Bluetooth or USB-connected controller or simply use custom touch controls.
A limited beta will be available in 22 countries
“The limited beta is our time to test and learn; we’ll send out more invites on a continuous basis to players in all 22 supported countries, evaluate feedback, continue to improve the experience, and add support for more devices,” says Catherine Gluckstein, Microsoft’s head of xCloud. “Our plan is to iterate quickly and open up to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in the coming months so more people have the opportunity to play Xbox in all-new ways.”
It’s the first time Xbox Game Streaming has been available on iOS devices after the service launched exclusively on Android phones and tablets last year. Microsoft wasn’t able to offer xCloud on iPhones or iPads during the initial launch phase of the service back in September due to Apple’s restrictions on cloud gaming apps.
Both Apple and Microsoft got into a public war of words over xCloud, and Apple initially insisted that Microsoft would have to submit individual games for review. Apple eventually offered a compromise to allow cloud gaming apps to run on iOS with individually reviewed games, but Microsoft branded it a “bad experience for consumers.”