Microsoft’s Cloud Gaming Service Enters iOS Beta This Week

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Microsoft is rolling out Xbox Cloud Gaming (previously known as Project xCloud) on iOS and Windows 10 this week. Select Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can participate in an open beta starting tomorrow, April 20, 2021.

Microsoft previously announced that its cloud gaming service would hit iOS and PC sometime this spring. Invitees will be able to play over 100 Xbox Game Pass titles through browsers such as Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari via Windows 10 PCs and Apple phones and tablets.

The beta supports Bluetooth or USB controllers across all titles, as well as custom touchscreen functionality for over 50 compatible games. This limited time beta is currently planned to launch in 22 countries and will roll out across other territories in the future.

This beta, as Microsoft explains, is to “test and learn,” as the company plans to evaluate feedback to improve the experience for all users. Ultimately, Microsoft wants to “bring gaming to the 3 billion players around the world.”

It’s unclear how Microsoft is going about selecting Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers to participate in the beta, though the company stated that it will send out invites on a “continuous basis.”

Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming has been available on Android devices such as tablets and phones since 2020. The company was unable to bring the service to iOS initially, due to Apple’s restrictions for App Store games, which — based on its terms of service — would require each game to be downloaded individually from the App Store. At the time, Microsoft referred to it as a “bad experience for consumers.”

In an attempt to bypass this to make the service more consumer friendly, Microsoft has implemented a way for Xbox Cloud Gaming to function on iOS via a browser. Those who have received invites can visit the Microsoft website here to access the large list of Xbox Game Pass titles available with the Cloud Gaming beta.

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