Microsoft is starting to test its Project xCloud game streaming service on iOS with some fanfares, but the future of the project is now unclear.
While Microsoft is preparing the launch of the Android version, it has prematurely ended its public trial version on iOS because the app is no longer available.
This action was reportedly taken due to Apple’s restrictive policies on third-party game streaming apps, according to Windows Central.
“Our TestFlight preview for Project xCloud preview has expired on iOS. We are focused on providing cloud games as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for Android customers from September 15th,” a Microsoft spokesman told The Verge . “Our goal is to scale cloud games through the Xbox Game Pass, which is available on all devices.”
XCloud’s launch on iOS got off to a weak start with only one game on offer, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and limited to just 10,000 users. And the test has stagnated since then, without updates and since then without new games. This would have triggered the deadline rule for iOS TestFlight from Apple, according to which apps have to be deactivated after 90 days without an update.
Meanwhile, Project xCloud on Android has received regular updates over the past year and now offers over 100 playable Xbox One games. This allows Microsoft to launch it on September 15, as part of its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription service, as planned, for $ 15. It also offers an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate bundle with xCloud services for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 20.
Microsoft service has encountered the same obstacles in the iOS Store as NVIDIA’s GeForce Now and Google Stadia.
One problem is that Apple is cutting all subscription services by 30 percent, which drops to 15 percent the following year.
The main problem, however, is that Apple essentially doesn’t allow apps to stream remotely from the cloud.
Specifically, the rules state that “any software or service that appears on the client must be fully running on the host device … beyond what is required to stream the remote desktop“.