Microsoft has begun testing its game streaming service, xCloud, on the web via a browser for iOS, iPadOS, and on PC via Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, The Verge reports.
Microsoft’s xCloud service allows subscribers to play games by streaming them from the cloud, instead of having to download the entire game locally on-device. Apple and Microsoft had a brief moment of contention in August of last year as App Store policy restricts services like xCloud from being available on the platform. Apple updated its policy to allow xCloud onto the platform, but it would require Microsoft to submit each game available on the service individually to the App Store, and each would have to be vetted against the platforms guidelines.
Microsoft blasted the rules as a “bad experience for customers,” and as a result, said it would push xCloud to iOS and iPadOS users via the browser on Safari. Screenshots provided to The Verge only show an xCloud experience via the browser on desktop, but the experience on iOS and iPadOS will likely be the same. Users will be able to select a game and play it directly within their browser; however, the exact resolution the game will be streamed at is as yet unknown. Typically, services like these will automatically adapt the resolution to meet your specific network capability.
At launch, xCloud will only support browsers built on Chromium like Edge and Chrome on the PC, but The Verge‘s Senior Editor Tom Warren says that he expects support for Safari to be added following internal testing. With testing underway, there’s no set timeframe when a public launch will take place, but The Verge guesses that a release is “getting very close.”