Microsoft’s Xbox cloud gaming platform (formerly called xCloud) is finally launching on iOS, iPadOS and PC on April 20th.
At least to start, the browser-based beta will only be available to a limited number of invited users at xbox.com/play. Microsoft says that beta features more than 100 Xbox Game Pass titles and is compatible with Edge, Google Chrome and Safari.
“The limited beta is our time to test and learn; we’ll send out more invites on a continuous basis to players in all 22 supported countries, evaluate feedback, continue to improve the experience and add support for more devices,’ says Microsoft’s Catherine Gluckstein, the vice president and head of product for Project xCloud, in a recent blog post.
If you manage to secure a beta invite, you’ll need a compatible Bluetooth or USB gamepad. Touch controls will also be available with more than 50 games, says Microsoft. The company says it’s sending out invites to the beta on April 20th.
“In the early stages of the beta, we’ll be focusing on fine-tuning features and creating a consistent experience across platforms, while making sure games are running their best,” writes Gluckstein.
xCloud launched exclusively on Android devices last year because Microsoft couldn’t offer the platform on Apple’s platform’s due to the tech giant’s App Store restrictions surrounding cloud-based apps.
This led to a public battle between the two companies resulting in Apple stating that all Xbox cloud gaming titles would need to be individually reviewed and Microsoft punching back and saying that this would offer a “bad experience for consumers.”
In some respects, the timing of this launch is interesting. Apple is set to hold a hardware event tomorrow where it will reportedly reveal the next version of the iPad Pro. Though somewhat unlikely given the cold war still brewing between Apple and Microsoft, there’s a possibility that we could catch a glimpse of xCloud running on Apple’s new high-end iPad during tomorrow’s event.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate costs $16.99/month and includes Xbox Live Gold, EA Play and Game Pass for Xbox and PC. It’s unclear exactly when Microsoft plans to open up xCloud’s iOS and PC beta to a wider audience, but Gluckstein says the goal is “to iterate quickly and open up to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in the coming months.”
Image credit: Microsoft