A few months back it seemed pretty unlikely that Microsoft would be able to bring its Xbox Game Pass (via xCloud streaming) to iOS devices, but a report today says that games boss Phil Spencer is telling employees it’ll be ready next year, and it’ll likely be using a browser to get around Apple’s restrictions.
As Business Insider reports, Spencer told staff at an all-hands meeting on Wednesday that Game Pass was looking to come to iPhone and iPad in 2021 using a “direct browser-based solution”, which would get around Apple’s current insistence on being able to review every game made available for the service.
The Verge add that with that technology up and running, Microsoft would also be looking to bring the same kind of streaming availability to Windows 10 PCs, also in 2021.
It was only last month that changes Apple made to the availability of game streaming services on iOS made something like Game Pass appearing on the platform “unlikely”, as it would force publishers to release a standalone app for every game they had on the service.
Microsoft said of the changes:
This remains a bad experience for customers. Gamers want to jump directly into a game from their curated catalog within one app just like they do with movies or songs, and not be forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud. We’re committed to putting gamers at the center of everything we do, and providing a great experience is core to that mission.
Giving Xbox Game Pass subscribers access to their library via a browser, which Apple can’t regulate, sure would do that. It just remains to be seen how effective (and playable) a solution that is.