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Microsoft has a cunning plan to sneak Xbox Game Pass onto iOS

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Apple has been run a pretty tight ship on its various platforms, fine-tuning its iOS system so that thoughts of playing games through any service other than its own is entirely verboten. Microsoft is looking to buck that trend entirely, and through less-pissy means than what Epic Games did, by bringing Xbox Game Pass via xCloud streaming to iOS devices with a browser workaround.

According to Business Insider, Xboss Phil Spencer told explained to staff that Game Pass would reach iPhone and iPad in 2021, skipping Apple’s internal policy of having to review every game that wants to be present on its systems. This comes after Apple made a few changes to the availability of game streaming services on iOS, forcing publishers to create a standalone app that needed to meet certain restrictions. “This remains a bad experience for customers,” Microsoft said last month of the change in rules.

Gamers want to jump directly into a game from their curated catalog within one app just like they do with movies or songs, and not be forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud. We’re committed to putting gamers at the center of everything we do, and providing a great experience is core to that mission.

Microsoft’s solution is one that Apple can’t regulate, and provided that it works decently, would be a far more tantalising distraction than Apple Arcade, a collection of games that you can subscribe to on iOS for a small monthly fee. If the technology takes off, Microsoft plans to use that streaming tech on Windows 10 PCs in conjunction with its Project xCloud service.

How Apple will react to a bigger and much deadlier challenge to Apple Arcade if Microsoft gets this ambitious new plan off the ground, should make for some interesting feuding.

Last Updated: October 9, 2020

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