Xbox One

Project xCloud on iOS Blocked by Apple, Microsoft Responds

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Project xCloud doesn't look likely to come to Apple products such as iPhone or iPad any time soon, as Apple confirms that game streaming services violate its App Store policy.

Microsoft has been pushing its Project xCloud streaming service as a core pillar of its next-generation plan alongside Xbox Series X, going so far as to bundle in the streaming service with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate starting next month. However, after a brief testing period on iOS, Microsoft has postponed plans to continue testing on Apple's products. Apple responded, pointing to the App Store policies in place, but many aren't happy with the response.

"The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers," Apple said in a statement.

"Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers."

"Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search. In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store."

It isn't a very satisfactory answer, and runs contrary to Apple's policy on other media streaming such as film and TV. Microsoft clearly isn't happy either, and put out a fairly scathing statement in response.

"Our testing period for the Project xCloud preview app for iOS has expired. Unfortunately, we do not have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple App Store," Microsoft said in a statement to Windows Central. "Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. And it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content."

"All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog are rated for content by independent industry ratings bodies such as the ESRB and regional equivalents. We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform."

"We believe that the customer should be at the heart of the gaming experience and gamers tell us they want to play, connect and share anywhere, no matter where they are. We agree."

Apple has also blocked rival game streaming service Google Stadia from launching an app on the same grounds. Unless Apple decides to play nice (which seems unlikely, despite mounting pressure) it appears that Project xCloud won't be coming to any iOS products in the near future. For those of us with iPhones hoping to try out the service when it joins Xbox Game Pass Ultimate next month, this is very disappointing news.

[via Windows Central]


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Game Info


US November 22, 2013
Europe November 22, 2013
Japan September 04, 2014

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