Apple Considered Launching Cloud Gaming Service

Apple has discussed launching a cloud-based gaming service to rival the likes of Xbox Cloud Gaming and Google Stadia, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.

applearcade
In his latest “Power On” newsletter, Gurman explained that Apple has considered launching a cloud-based game streaming service like its competitors (emphasis our own):

Apple’s gaming service is somewhat unique, relying on games that run on its devices natively rather than from the cloud. Microsoft Corp., Nvidia Corp., Google and others have launched gaming services that run from the cloud. That allows support for a wider range of games and creates a “Netflix for games”-like experience. Oddly, Apple doesn’t allow those rivals to join Apple Arcade on the App Store. The company says that’s not because they’re competitors, but simply because it doesn’t allow all-you-can-eat cloud gaming services on its devices. Despite that, the company in the past has internally discussed the prospects of launching such a service, I’m told. I just hope that if Apple does, it then greenlights its rivals’ participation too.

Thus far, Apple has focused on games that have to be downloaded and run natively, rather than games that stream from the cloud. The company launched Apple Arcade‌‌ in September of 2019 as an ad-free mobile game subscription service with no in-app purchases. ‌‌‌Apple Arcade‌‌‌ is available across the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Mac for $4.99 per month, or as part of the Apple One bundle.

One explanation for why Apple has not moved forward with cloud gaming as far as we know may be because it seems to prefer using powerful local hardware rather than depending on an internet connection to stream games being processed elsewhere. It also seems unlikely that the company would risk an obligation to allow competing cloud gaming services by Microsoft, Nvidia, Google, Amazon, and Netflix onto the App Store, which have otherwise been forced to use browser-based solutions. Nevertheless, the company may have been sensitive to the growing interest in cloud gaming from its rivals.

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