Microsoft is developing a browser-based workaround to get its game-streaming xCloud service onto iPhones and iPads.
That’s according to Business Insider and The Verge, which reported on comments made by Xbox boss Phil Spencer to staff in a recent company meeting.
“We absolutely will end up on iOS,” said Spencer, who mentioned an early 2021 launch for the . “We’ll end up on iPhones, and iPads with Game Pass.”
The plan is to circumvent Apple’s App Store entirely by letting users load and play games in a web browser. It’s the same method Amazon is now readying for use with its new streaming service Luna.
Apple previously blocked plans by Xbox to launch xCloud as an app on iOS, despite earlier hopes it would arrive there soon after its recent rollout on Android. Apple is keen to enforce a policy which requires each xCloud game to be submitted separately to Apple and listed via the App Store.
Microsoft has already said this option would not fit Xbox Game Pass, with its ever-changing list of hundreds of titles. Fellow streaming services Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now have similarly backed off.
On a very-much related note, Microsoft yesterday published a document setting out 10 principles for the Microsoft Store on Windows, laying out its ideas for how a digital marketplace should be run.
The points, which include a pledge not to block competing app store, were warmly welcomed by Epic boss Tim Sweeney, whose company is of course in the middle of its legal battle with Apple over Fortnite’s circumventing of Apple’s 30 per cent App Store cut.