Microsoft has today announced that its cloud-based gaming subscription service, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, will be available to iOS users starting Spring 2021.
The announcement detailed that, as expected, Game Pass will not be coming to iOS via an app, but rather through a web browser.
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. 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.
Earlier this year, plans to bring an Xbox streaming app to iOS stalled due to Apple’s App Store rules, which forbid apps from streaming multiple games from the cloud via a single app. This is because Apple believes that its inability to review each game in the service’s library is a potential security risk. Game Pass streaming would only be viable if each game was available as its own app under Apple’s rules.
As Microsoft suggested earlier this year, using a browser instead of an app allows the company to avoid Apple’s App Store rules while still providing the same service. Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that Apple “remains open to the user experience we would like people to see.”
Microsoft’s games streaming service is bundled as part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription for $14.99 per month, with more than 100 games available.