Microsoft’s xCloud Game Streaming Service Beta Released for iOS

With cloud game streaming services like Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now not yet available on iOS, Microsoft has just brought its Project xCloud service to iPhones and iPads by launching a beta of its game streaming service through Apple’s TestFlight service (via The Verge).

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To bring xCloud to iOS, however, Microsoft has had to make some tweaks to the service to comply with Apple’s strict App Store policies. “The preview experience on iOS may look and feel different for those who have been testing on Android,” notes Microsoft’s Larry Hryb in a recent blog post.

For now, only “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” will be available to the 10,000 testers whom Microsoft says it’s inviting to the preview. The app is also limited to xCloud and does not include the Xbox Game Streaming feature that streams games from an Xbox console:

“It’s not clear what Apple’s limits are, or why the iPhone maker keeps restricting cloud-based game streaming services from launching on its iOS devices. Google launched its Stadia service with a basic iOS app that doesn’t support streaming, and Microsoft seems to be pushing ahead with testing in hopes that Apple will finally approve these types of apps. It took nearly a year for Apple to approve Valve’s Steam Link app, even though it primarily streams games from your home PC.”

Microsoft notes that because of how iOS TestFlight works, those who are accepted into the iOS TestFlight preview may not necessarily participate for the full duration of the preview. To register to participate in the Project xCloud limited iOS TestFlight preview, visit this link.