Microsoft officially launched its xCloud game streaming service last month and while it's currently available on Android, xCloud is completely absent on iOS. A new report says that Microsoft is working to change that.
Microsoft gaming boss Phil Spencer told employees at a meeting on Wednesday that the company is planning to bring xCloud to iPhone and iPad in 2021. According to Business Insider, Microsoft will achieve this using a "direct browser-based solution" rather than going through the App Store.
"We absolutely will end up on iOS," Spencer reportedly told employees at an all-hands meeting this week.
The reason that xCloud isn't on iOS and Microsoft is going the browser route to get it there is because of Apple's App Store rules. Weeks before xCloud's public launch, Apple said game streaming services like xCloud and Google Stadia weren't allowed on the App Store at all.
Apple did recently update its App Store rules to allow these services, but it says that each game on the service must be individually submitted to Apple for review and given an App Store page. This would be a huge hassle for Microsoft because xCloud offers more than 100 games for customers to stream using the cloud.
However, Amazon recently introduced its own game streaming service called Luna that'll be available on iPhone and iPad at launch. Amazon is doing this using web apps, and now it sounds like Microsoft is planning to do the same thing.
iOS has a huge user base: Apple reported in early 2019 that there were 900 million iPhone users worldwide, and that number has likely surpassed 1 billion at this point. While xCloud isn't quite available everywhere in the world — it's in 22 countries right now — that's still millions of users that Microsoft would probably like to offer xCloud to. And so it's no surprise to hear that Microsoft is working on getting its game streaming service to them by cooking up a browser-based solution.