Why Microsoft Won’t Launch xCloud Game Streaming Service On iOS
Microsoft stopped its xCloud game streaming test for iOS devices during the week and the reason is a familiar one. Apple’s App store restrictive policies are an apparent obstacle to its launch on iOS.
Before now, Microsoft had been testing xCloud on iOS albeit in a very limited manner. The tech giant already announced a release date for the service but said it will only launch on Android. Microsoft also told xCloud testers that the TestFlight period for the service would end on 11th September 2020 with only the Android TestFlight continuing till the said date.
“Our Project xCloud preview TestFlight period has ended on iOS and we are focused on delivering cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to Android customers beginning September 15. It’s our ambition to scale cloud gaming through Xbox Game Pass available on all devices,” a Microsoft spokesperson.
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App Store policies restricted the xCloud testing to only one game on iOS. It had to restrict the testing of xCloud iOS test app to just Halo: The Master Chief Collection and 10,000 testers so as “to comply with App Store policies.”
It is suspected that Apple’s app store in-app purchase rules are a factor. This factor has caused a huge uproar in the past with a US rep comparing the fees to highway robbery.
Apple also has strict limits on ‘remote desktop clients’. This means apps are can only connect to a user-owned host device or a game console owned by the user. Furthermore, both the host device and the client must also be connected to a local network. The remote desktop client rules are most likely a bigger factor for Microsoft than the in-app purchase rules.
Microsoft will launch xCloud as part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on 15th September 2020 exclusively to Android. However, the software giant is also working on a PC app to stream Xbox games to Windows 10 devices.
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