Microsoft employees are currently testing a browser version of xCloud if sources of The Verge are to be believed. The web version of the xCloud platform will have similar functions as its dedicated mobile app, like game recommendations, picking up games where you left them in other machines, and access to all xCloud titles bundled with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tier subscription.
xCloud On Browsers As iOS Circumvention
Many industry observers believe that Microsoft’s initiative to introduce cloud gaming in browsers, alongside stand-alone apps, is aimed to circumvent the iOS restriction. Last year, Apple banned the presence of xCloud and Google’s Stadia in the iOS when the same apps were launched in the Android ecosystem with no problems.
xCloud and Stadia cloud game streams are technically just video streams that the user can send input back to the server. This move by Apple was based on completely arbitrary guidelines. One of these guidelines is that apps are not allowed in the App Store if they have a store-like interface, except, those apps that are merely extensions to other machines, like a remote desktop application for example Steam Link. Yet, Apple also banned Steam Link for a time, although it is back now in the App Store.
As to Apple’s official stance, Apple alleged that Stadia and xCloud do not want to be subjected to an individual review of each and every game appearing in their services. Hence, they are not allowed in the store. This was met with skepticism since various streaming services in other formats are available on the platform like Netflix and Spotify. Also, the App Store guidelines at its time did not have the requirement to submit individual games until after they made their official statement regarding the reason for the ban.
What Is xCloud On Browsers?
The browser version of xCloud appears to work on Chromium browsers like Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. The xCloud games will run full screen. They will also require that a controller be used for input.
There is also a report that Microsoft is bundling the browser version with the Xbox app on machines running the Windows 10 OS. xCloud’s competitor, Google Stadia, had been running its cloud gaming services through Google Chrome and Chromium browsers. This version of xCloud is planned to launch as a public preview “in the spring”.
xCloud is available as part of the Game Pass Ultimate subscription, which costs subscribers $15 per month. As of this moment, xCloud is not available in any other form or as a part of another bundle. It is also unclear if Microsoft will release xCloud as a separate service independent of Game Pass. The app version of xCloud allows the use of touch controls, as some developers make their games are made to be touch compliant, which this purported browser version cannot do.
This February, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can now play the games below on top of what was available previously when the service was introduced, which included Destiny 2, The Witcher 3, and Forza Horizon 4.
- Donut County
- Enter The Gungeon
- Fractured Minds
- Monster Sanctuary
- River City Girls
- The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics
- The Walking Dead: A New Frontier – Episode 1
- The Walking Dead: Michonne – A Telltale Miniseries
- The Walking Dead: Season Two
- The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season
- Touhou Luna Nights
- What Remains of Edith Finch
- Yes, Your Grace