Apple is not happy about Microsoft’s streaming plans and has stopped them from launching xCloud on iPhone, perhaps forever.
No matter what else is going on with Microsoft’s promotion of the Xbox Series X their ace in the hole remains Project xCloud, their streaming service that has been in testing for several months now and already seems to work very well.
Perhaps too well as far as Apple is concerned, as they’ve forced Microsoft to end testing almost a week early and there are now no plans to launch on iOS on 15 September, when the service will officially begin on Android.
The idea behind xCloud (it’s not clear whether that’s its final name or still a codename) is similar to Google’s Stadia, in that you can stream any games you want without having to own a console or PC.
Microsoft has already partnered up with Samsung for the September Android launch but there’s been no official announcement of why it’s not on iOS or why testing has stopped early.
The theory is that it’s because game streaming as a concept breaks the App Store polices which prohibit apps from running other third party apps (games in this case) that Apple doesn’t have any way of policing.
Apple are especially worried about third party apps that would charge extra for additional content, which obviously happens all the times with video games.
This was obvious during testing on iOS, which was limited to 10,000 people and each could only play one game.
Stadia is also not on iOS, it’s assumed for the same reasons, and Steam Link was refused for a whole year before it was finally allowed on.
That means the xCloud ban might not be permanent, especially if Microsoft can manage to talk Apple into adopting a new policy, but at launch Project xCloud is going to be Android only.
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