Apple has shot down hopes that Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service would be coming to iOS devices. Despite a test run of the platform on their devices, Apple buyers won’t get blanket access to game streaming. Apple has said they may be open to limited agreements at the very least, usually on a case-by-case basis.
The company has said it will not allow blanket access to the iOS ecosystem for services like Microsoft’s xCloud, or Google’s Stadia. This comes during an interview with Business Insider, an Apple spokesperson claims that the goal is to “protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers.”
Their statement continued: “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.”
So while it does really suck, it’s not all that surprising. Apple has been notoriously anti-consumer for some time with respect to repair and replacement services for even its most expensive products. There are countless horror stories of repairs and support being unreasonably difficult to obtain going back years. So it kind of stands to reason that they would want undue control here as well.
So far, xCloud in particular has only seen very limited rollouts via Android test flights. Although Google and Microsoft have been offering plenty of games on the service for Android devices, progress has been slow. The comparisons with Apple devices are harder to ignore. Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been the only game on xCloud for Apple devices, and even that was restricted to just 10,000 players. The Android run by comparison had more than 80 games for testing.
Google Stadia also finds itself locked out. The rollout has been much less smooth for Google’s streaming services, and they have not had an easy time convincing users to come onboard. Even Valve has had issues, with the App Store rejecting Valve services on some occasions. Like when Valve’s Steam Link was rejected from the App Store.
xCloud launches officially on September 15—on Android only. It will be very interesting indeed to see how Apple takes this in the future.