- Microsoft has announced to bring xCloud gaming to iOS, Windows PC next year.
- On iPhone and iPad, xCloud will be available via the Safari browser.
- Microsoft is also announcing several titles for Xbox and Xbox Game Pass.
Microsoft is bringing the Xbox's cloud gaming service, xCloud, to a wide range of devices next year. Besides being available on Android currently, the xCloud service will be supported on iOS and Windows PC devices next year, much like how Google Stadia cloud gaming service works. The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes the xCloud service, will expand to over a billion devices next year as Microsoft places big hopes in the emerging cloud gaming market.
In a statement, Jerret West, corporate vice president at Microsoft, said that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate's cloud gaming will expand to Windows PCs via Xbox app and browser and to iOS devices through the browser in spring next year. "By adding over a billion devices as a path to playing in the Xbox ecosystem, we envision a seamless experience for all types of players; whether it's playing Minecraft Dungeons with your Xbox friends using touch controls on an iPhone, or jumping into a Destiny 2: Beyond Light strike on a Surface Pro when you have a break between meetings," he said.
It makes sense that Microsoft is planning to make Xcloud available via Safari on iPhone since Apple does not allow cloud gaming apps inside the App Store, in which case Microsoft must pay the App Store fee. West also said that the xCloud gaming service will be available to new markets as the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will expand to Australia, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico soon. There is no word on when it will come to India.
Moreover, Apple wants companies to list an individual app for each game on the App Store, instead of all cloud games clubbed into a single app and available for streaming. Think of it as having 10 apps for 10 streamable games on your iPhone. No wonder, Microsoft wants out, much like how Nvidia did. This is also similar to how Nvidia's GeForce Now cloud gaming service works on iPhones. Google is also allegedly resorting to a similar method where it will make a web app for Stadia and offer its cloud gaming service to iPhone users.
Windows PC owners will be able to use the Xbox app, as mentioned, along with the browser. Now, the browser will also allow Mac owners to probably use Microsoft's xCloud and other services but nothing is clear on this part as of now. This would be the most convenient form of gaming since it will not require you to download heavy files and install them before you can begin playing a game. All the data and processing happens on the robust cloud system that companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Nvidia have heavily invested in. Even Amazon is in the race with its Luna cloud gaming service.
But since this is an advanced form of gaming involving the transfer of heavy files between the device and the cloud, it would need an extremely fast internet connection. According to Microsoft, xCloud needs at least 10Mbps internet connection speed, but this is the minimum. To be able to play games with rich graphics, an internet connection of higher speed will suffice.
Microsoft has also announced new games coming to Xbox Game Pass in 2021. The list below includes all of them:
- Halo Infinite
- Psychonauts 2
- The Ascent
- The Medium (console launch exclusive)
- The Gunk (console launch exclusive)
- Warhammer 40K: Darktide (console launch exclusive)
- Exomecha (console launch exclusive)
- Dead Static Drive
- The Good Life