Xbox Cloud Gaming for PC and iOS Begins Limited Beta Period

Even at the best of times, not everyone is able to get their hands on a powerful graphics card, let alone these days with worldwide chip shortages. If you're one of those who doesn't have their dream PC at the moment, but still wants to enjoy games at maximum graphical fidelity, then Microsoft has good news for you.

Playing your favourite AAA titles on the go and other platforms is about to become a whole lot easier.

The Xbox Cloud Gaming service, which has been dubbed by many as the Netflix for gaming, is finally making its way to Windows 10 PCs, as well as iOS devices.

When Is Xbox Cloud Gaming for PC and iOS Coming?

The Xbox Cloud Gaming service, known previously as xCloud, will be available on iPhones, iPads, and Windows 10 PCs starting on April 20. However, as stated by Microsoft, the initial limited beta run will be invite-only.

Apparently, Microsoft had already planned to launch Xbox Cloud Gaming iOS and iPadOS devices as early as last year. However, Apple had updated the App Store rules in September 2020 to prevent companies from circumventing App Store rules. In particular, the rules forced Microsoft (and other companies offering similar services) to offer every game as individual downloads. This is opposed to making an entire library of games available similar to what Netflix does for movies. As a result, Microsoft had to delay the launch of Xbox Cloud Gaming for the iPhone and iPad.

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With that said, starting Tuesday, Microsoft will start sending Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members invites to the limited beta period.

What's Next for Xbox Cloud Gaming?

Although Microsoft recommends using a Bluetooth-enabled or USB controller, there are currently more than 50 games on Xbox Cloud Gaming that supports touch controls.

For those unfamiliar with Xbox Cloud Gaming, the best way to describe it is as a Netflix for games. At the moment, Xbox Cloud Gaming is available for free, being included within the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate plan.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is widely considered the best video game subscription plan on the market today. For just $14.99 a month, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate gives you both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. The latter recently saw the launch of Outriders with MLB The Show 21 expected to follow suit.

With Xbox Cloud Gaming, an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription becomes even more worthwhile. It effectively lets you play video games just by streaming them directly to a supported device. So long as your internet connection is fast enough, you'll be able to stream over 100 titles, including but not limited to, Forza Horizon 4.

Microsoft initially made Xbox Cloud Gaming available for Android phones last year. In March 2021, Microsoft started teasing the possibility of making the service available on Windows 10 PCs and iOS devices.

During the limited beta period, Microsoft will continuously send out invites to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. Microsoft claims that they'll use this time to "evaluate feedback" and "continue to improve the experience". Most recently, Microsoft added GTA 5 to the Xbox Cloud Gaming library with touch controls support.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.