Microsoft is looking at developing a “direct browser-based solution” for Xbox Game Pass streaming on iOS. The company is targeting a rough release of sometime in 2021.
Microsoft’s gaming lead Phil Spencer has reportedly told employees during an all-hands meeting this week that “We absolutely will end up on iOS,” according to Business Insider. Two sources with direct knowledge of Spencer’s comments noted that the company will be working to bring Xbox Game Pass game steaming to iOS and iPadOS through a web-based solution.
Last month, Microsoft took what was formerly known as Project xCloud out of its testing phase. Enrolling its game streaming into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the service hit its beta stage on Android in 22 countries including Canada, the US, and the UK. However, despite having a Testflight version on iOS, Apple blocked Xbox Game Pass streaming on iOS and iPadOS due to the App Store policies.
Just like Google Stadia and GeForce Now, Xbox Game Pass streaming does not align with Apple’s guidelines for its App Store. Apple has insisted that in order to be eligible for release on the App Store, all 100+ games on Xbox Game Pass must be individually submitted as separate apps. Microsoft has vocally disagreed with Apple’s decision to block Xbox Game Pass streaming on iOS and has shut down the possibility of submitting games separately for review.
The company seems determined to bringing iOS users into the fold through other measures. Microsoft appears to be taking a similar route that Amazon is taking with its own game streaming service. This month, Amazon announced Luna, a streaming service akin to Google Stadia, which will release in early access form on iOS and iPadOS through a progressing web application (PWA). Stadia has also been available on Mac through Chrome browsers, however, is not accessible on iPhone or iPad.
The Verge has also reported that Xbox Game Pass streaming is coming to PC sometime in 2021 as well. Spencer told employees that it would be a “great opportunity” for Xbox Game Pass and streaming to come together on PC.
Microsoft nor Apple have commented on the matter publically as of this time.