Microsoft is planning to bring Xbox game-streaming service to iPhones next year with Apple.
The Game Pass streaming service was launched for Android phones last month. Microsoft is now developing a web-browser-based version that should work on iPhones. Microsoft employees have been told that a “browser-based solution” is planned for next year, according to reports in both Business Insider and The Verge.
“We absolutely will end up on iOS,” Xbox head Phil Spencer said, according to both outlets. The streaming service works by offering an interface of games to choose from. Selecting seamless launches the game – assuming the user has a good enough internet connection for the large amount of streaming data needed.
But ahead of the planned launch, Apple said its app store rules require that each game is submitted individually for review.
Since Microsoft plans to add and remove games on the service constantly, it said it did “not have a path” to bring the service to Apple’s iOS.
However, Apple released updated guidelines last month which explicitly said that “open internet and web browser apps” are a viable way for game streaming to work, clarifying the rules for Microsoft and other streaming apps.
Google Stadia has a web-browser-based option for the PC gaming market and users have found ways to get it running on iOS through third-party apps that are essentially customized web browsers.
And Amazon, which recently announced its Luna game-streaming service, has said it will work on iPhones and iPads at launch through browser. Gaming analyst Piers Harding-Rolls, from Ampere Analysis, said Microsoft’s own “evolution” had been expected.
“This allows these companies to avoid App Store guidelines which require games subscription services to have all included titles listed on the store separately and to also pay 30% platform fees to Apple for those users subscribing through the store front,” he explained.
Modern web design means that browser apps can have some of the look and feel of real, native apps, he added.
The Xbox app wouldn’t be the only game streaming app that would make it with iPhone and iPad. Sony’s PS4 Remote Play does the same thing and it’s also available on iOS