Microsoft is testing a new version of its Xbox app that will let Xbox users play games remotely on their iPhones and iPads using streaming functionality. The new feature was rolled out to TestFlight users this morning.
The Xbox streaming option is distinct from Microsoft’s xCloud service, which it has been
clashing with Apple over. xCloud is designed to stream games from Microsoft’s servers, while the Xbox streaming option requires users to connect their iPhones to their Xbox consoles.
The Verge points out, the new Xbox streaming option is similar to the
PS4 Remote Play app that Sony offers on Apple’s iPhones and iPads. Remote Play lets users play their PS4 games over WiFi on an Apple device.
Xbox’s streaming feature will work outside of the home, like the PlayStation version, allowing Xbox owners to access and play their games from their Xbox when not at home. The updated Xbox app is being tested by TestFlight members at the current time and will likely see a public launch soon.
As for xCloud, Microsoft has a path to bring the feature to the
iPhone and the
recent App Store policy changes, but introducing xCloud on Apple devices will require Microsoft to upload each individual game to Apple’s
App Store for review purposes.
Microsoft has said that this is a “bad experience for customers” who 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.”
Project xCloud launched on September 15 as Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and while it is available on Android devices, it is not available to iOS users.