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xCloud is finally coming to iOS, but you’ll have to use a web browser to play

The company has already started internal tests for the service.

Xbox cloud gaming service on a smartphone that is attached to a controller
Image: Joe Rice-Jones / KnowTechie

Microsoft has started internal tests on xCloud game streaming through the browser, according to The Verge. That means soon you’ll be able to get around the restrictions Apple puts on the App Store and play xCloud on your iOS devices, or almost anything else.

Rumors of this first started back in October of last year, but now, a public preview is coming, which will function almost the same as the Android version of xCloud, with a simplified launcher for game recommendations, a list of recently played titles, and every cloud game available through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Starting a game will put your browser into fullscreen mode, and you’ll need an Xbox controller hooked up to play. This web version will also get bundled into the PC version of the Xbox app for Windows 10 at some point, with support currently only being on Google Chrome and the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge.

At the minute, xCloud is powered by actual Xbox Series S hardware, installed in server blades. Microsoft is planning on upgrading this to Xbox Series X hardware at some point this year, which would enable 4K game streaming.

It’s hard to say if Microsoft was always planning browser support, but it’s clear that any decisions were hastened by Apple’s stance on game streaming apps inclusion on the App Store. You won’t have long to wait to be able to play the browser-based xCloud, as Microsoft already has a release date of Spring 2021.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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