The Verge reports, Microsoft has begun testing its xCloud game streaming service in web browsers on iOS and iPadOS devices, as well as on PCs via the Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browser platforms.
xCloud is Microsoft’s game-streaming technology that complements Microsoft’s console hardware and allows gamers to have more choices in how and where they play. The service is bundled as a part of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription service, priced at $14.99 per month.
Although Microsoft tested xCloud on iOS with a closed beta of 10,00 testers, App Store guidelines prohibit services that rely on streaming games from the cloud. This despite the growing popularity of live game streaming.
App Store policy restricts services like xCloud from being available on the platform. Apple updated its policy to allow xCloud onto the platform, but it would require Microsoft to submit each game available on the service individually to the App Store, and each would have to be vetted against the platform’s guidelines.
The web version of xCloud includes a simple launcher with recommendations for games, the ability to resume recently played titles, and access to all the cloud games available through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Once launched, a game will run fullscreen, and a controller will be required to play Xbox games streamed through the browser.
xCloud will initially only support browsers built on Chromium, including Edge and Chrome on the PC. However, The Verge‘s Senior Editor Tom Warren says that he expects support for Safari to be added following internal testing.
Nothing has been announced as to when a public launch of xCloud via the browser will take place. However, The Verge report guesses that a release is “getting very close.”