Microsoft’s development and testing of its xCloud service for iOS, which has been out and available for testing by iOS users since early this year, has come to an end earlier than expected.
We learned first today via appleinsider.com about the termination of the xCloud for iOS services, likely disappointing droves of excited iOS and Xbox fans the world over (perhaps none more than our own Jason Porembski.)
Microsoft first announced in The Verge that:
“Our Project xCloud preview TestFlight period has ended on iOS and we are focused on delivering cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to Android customers beginning September 15.”The Verge
Exciting Samsung users, Microsoft has entered into a new partnership with Samsung, and the abandoment of development for iOS will mean that xCloud will become an Android-exclusive. Great news for Android users, and Samsung users in particular.
Unfortunately, it seems that Apple’s own App Store policies may have been a huge roadblock to testing of the xCloud environment, as its own policies prevented users from playing more than a single game on the service, and also limited the number of testers to 10,000 users.
Google and Steam have run into similar issues in the past with their own streaming service apps running into headwinds with Apple’s app store. According to The Verge, it took around a year for Steam to get its app store streaming service, Valve’s Steam Link, to be approved for the app store, and Google Stadia, to this day, is not available on iOS devices.
A launch date for xCloud game streaming has been set for Sept 15th. With that, the Project xCloud preview is officially closed. When the xCloud service launches for Game Pass, it will be exclusive to Android-based tablets and smartphones, with a PC version in the works.
What do you think about this abandon-ship with xCloud to iOS? Is Apple to blame, or did Microsoft strike a better deal with Samsung? Let us know what you think!