Project xCloud Takes Bite Out of iPhone, But It’s Currently a Small One

The Microsoft streaming service begins testing on Apple devices. It's already wildly popular.

The Microsoft streaming service begins testing on Apple devices. It's already wildly popular.
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Microsoft’s Project xCloud has already been available on Android devices for a few months, but it’s just now making its way to Apple devices. The iPhone testing period began today, and it’s already full up. 

As of writing, those testing xCloud on iPhone only have access to Halo: The Master Chief Collection. While Android users have access to more than 80 games across multiple genres, Apple’s a bit more draconian in its policies, forcing Microsoft to jump through a few extra hoops. 

Unfortunately, you won’t see the likes of Borderlands 2, Gears 5, Just Cause 4, or State of Decay 2 on iOS. At least not yet. 

Through a post on the official Microsoft blog, Major Nelson said that “to comply with App Store policies, the preview experience on iOS may look and feel different for those who have been testing on Android.” He goes on to outline the differences, including that “the iOS TestFlight preview … does not include Xbox Console Streaming (Preview) at this time.”

Further, the testing client is only available in the United States, the U.K., and Canada. Some 10,000 registrants were chosen to participate in the iOS test, and it appears that Microsoft may cycle out some participants to include new testers as the period moves on. There is no word when that may happen, or when more spaces will open. 

Back in November, we were able to go hands-on with the Android version of Project xCloud, and we were smitten by it. Our Mark Delaney said: 

The dream of next year, playing stuff like Cyberpunk 2077 and Halo Infinite wherever I may be, is coming to fruition — and fast. I’m already starting to feel old when I tell my seven-year-old how good he has it, and how back in my day, handheld games would never look or play like they do now.

While Project xCloud has been steadily expanding, and Nvidia’s GeForce Now seems to be impressing in its early days, Google Stadia has faced backlash for its sluggish growth three months after launch. Though our initial thoughts were mostly positive, Google has stumbled in delivering new experiences to the platform, even if it did just announce five new games. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and info on Project xCloud as it develops. 

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