Less than a week after discreetly upgrading its underlying hardware, Microsoft has officially made Xbox Cloud Gaming fully online for Apple iOS devices and Windows PCs. The company announced that the service formerly known as xCloud is now fully operational after being previously available only to Android users or to Apple and Windows 10 via an invite-only beta.
Starting now, subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate can access Xbox Cloud Gaming via the Xbox website at this URL. From there they can access one of over 250 games available as one of the service’s cloud offerings and start streaming. Most games will require a Bluetooth or USB controller to play but will also incorporate other controls such as touch-based play and virtual on-screen controls.
Cloud gaming is just one of many ways that Microsoft is trying to make games accessible to everyone. But where the Game Pass library encourages exploration and curiosity in its user base, cloud gaming opens up that library to people who don’t have access to high spec consoles or high-end gaming PCs.
The journey to getting Xbox games streaming onto iOS devices was not the easiest one, with Apple making it a point to block out services like it and Google Stadia and GeForce Now from the App Store. Apple eventually relented with some loopholes and permissions that allow them to operate through the Safari browser leading to Microsoft build Cloud Gaming on iOS as a browser service.
With Xbox Cloud Gaming fully online, Microsoft will most likely focus most of its efforts perfecting the quality of the service — in “open beta” officiall speaking — for the sheer number of users playing over the coming weeks. At present, streams are being capped at 1080p and 60fps “to ensure the lowest latency, highest quality experience across the broadest set of devices,” according to its press release.