Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming now widely available on iOS and PC
Microsoft’s xCloud, the cloud-based game streaming component of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate that doesn’t require a console to use, is fully deployed to iOS devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as PCs and computers. macOS via the web. It’s been in an invite-only beta since mid-April 2021, but Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can now access games directly from their devices.
Microsoft says that on PCs, xCloud is accessible through the Edge browser and Google Chrome. We made it work in macOS on Microsoft Edge and Safari. More than 100 games are available and the service is compatible with Bluetooth controllers or connected via USB. On iOS, this will work as a web app through Safari, and you’ll have a choice of a controller or touch controls for some games. Microsoft also shared in its blog post that xCloud is now powered by Xbox Series X consoles, setting streaming at 1080p at up to 60 frames per second with a sufficiently fast internet connection.
The road to getting xCloud on iOS has been bumpy, with Apple’s App Store guidelines initially blocking not only Microsoft, but also Google’s Stadia cloud streaming services and Nvidia’s GeForce Now from launching on the App. Store. Apple eventually dug loopholes to allow them to operate via the web (but not without warnings).
To celebrate the launch, Microsoft has affixed its âDesigned for Xboxâ badge to one of the best mobile gaming accessories: the Backbone’s One controller. This new version is physically identical to the pre-existing model which has been available since the end of 2020 because it is technically the same. What has changed is the physical packaging that now calls for its Xbox compatibility, and despite no price increase ($ 99.99), it comes with a three-month free trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for newbies. members, which typically costs $ 45 on its own. It is available via the Microsoft Store and the Backbone website. Razer’s revised version of the Kishi Controller for iPhone has monochrome buttons and also includes a Game Pass Ultimate trial for new users. You can read my colleague Sam Byford’s review about it here.
Backbone recently updated their app with deep Xbox integration, like tagging gameplay you recorded through xCloud. You can edit sequences in the app and download them as a link. It also features a dynamic new Xbox Game Pass feed to let you know about new games to try and other suggestions based on your friends’ activities.