Microsoft xCloud beta launching on iOS this week

Microsoft is launching the first beta of its xCloud game streaming service on iOS and iPadOS on Tuesday. It will be available for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users to access in web browsers, allowing them to play their Xbox games on iPhone and iPad.

The service is also launching on PC in the same closed beta. Access to xCloud on these platforms will require an invite and users won’t be able to request to join. Users can play over 100 games and control them using touch controls or a Bluetooth or wired controller.

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. 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 isn’t possible for xCloud to launch on iOS as an app from the App Store, due to Apple’s restrictions on cloud gaming apps. It recently relaxed rules to allow cloud gaming apps to run with each game submitted as a separate listing on the App Store, but Microsoft isn’t following this as it will undoubtedly worsen the user experience.

xCloud will not be available to all users for a few months, when Microsoft says it plans to open it up to more users.

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Ben Ward
Senior Editor, discussing everything Apple and supporting other writers and members of Apple TLD's team of volunteers.
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