- Microsoft confirmed this week that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is coming to iOS and PC in spring of 2021, bringing cloud gaming to iPhones and Windows PCs.
- Apple won’t allow Xbox Game Pass on the App Store, so you’ll have to use a mobile web browser if you want to play your Xbox games on your iPhone or iPad.
- There are currently over 190 Xbox games that are playable from the cloud.
As excited as gamers were for the arrival of the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, the most intriguing launch by Microsoft this year might actually have been cloud gaming coming to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. For the first time, we were going to be able to play all of our console games on virtually any phone or tablet using the cloud. Unfortunately, this functionality was restricted to Android devices because Apple wouldn’t play ball.
We’ve discussed Apple’s arcane App Store rules in the past, but rather than attempt to restructure the entire service around those rules, Microsoft decided to circumvent the App Store altogether. In a blog post on Wednesday, Microsoft Gaming CVP Jerret West revealed that cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will come to iOS devices in spring 2021 through mobile web browsers, so you won’t have to download anything.
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In addition to bringing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to iPhones and iPads in 2021, Microsoft will also open the doors to cloud gaming on PC with the Xbox app for Windows 10 as well as through web browsers.
“In Spring 2021, we will take the next step in our journey to reach more players around the world by making cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate available on Windows PCs through the Xbox app and browser, and iOS devices through mobile web browser,” writes West. “By adding over a billion devices as a path to playing in the Xbox ecosystem, we envision a seamless experience for all types of players; whether it’s playing Minecraft Dungeons with your Xbox friends using touch controls on an iPhone, or jumping into a Destiny 2: Beyond Light strike on a Surface Pro when you have a break between meetings.”
While Sony is all in on the PlayStation 5 as a hub for next-gen gaming, Microsoft doesn’t really care where you play, as long as you pay for a subscription to Xbox Game Pass. You can actually use a filter on the Xbox website to see all of the “cloud-enabled” games, and at the time of writing, there are currently over 190 games playable from the cloud, including Control, Dragon Quest XI, Destiny 2, Doom Eternal, Gears 5, Halo 5, and more.
Some games will leave the service in the months ahead as new games take their place, but virtually the entire library will be playable on PC and iOS in spring of next year if you’re willing to pay $14.99 per month.