Microsoft has decided to pullback testing of its Project xCloud gaming service from Apple’s iOS. Microsoft continues to lament restrictions around the platform as the reason the cloud gaming platform cannot function properly on iPhone and iPad.
Project xCloud initially debuted on iOS in February. Like on Android, the service was in testing in select nations. Unlike Android, what was available to users during the test was severely limited.
Indeed, the only game supported was Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Furthermore, users couldn’t tap into the Console Streaming feature could not to stream games from your Xbox. It is worth noting Microsoft is also ending the Android preview on September 11th, but the reasoning is different.
On Android, the preview is ending because Microsoft is readying to launch the full Project xCloud experience. On iOS, the preview won’t be extended to next month and it seems development of the service on iOS has been halted. In other words, xCloud will not launch on the platform anytime soon.
“Our Project xCloud preview TestFlight period has ended on iOS and we are focused on delivering cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to Android customers beginning September 15,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “It’s our ambition to scale cloud gaming through Xbox Game Pass available on all devices.”
Future on iOS
Microsoft has previously discussed the difficulty of managing xCloud on iOS due to the closed nature of the platform. It seems those restrictions were too great, and Microsoft has pulled the plug. Although, the company has not said what the specific limitations are. Redmond is firmly placing the blame on Apple’s policies.
Considering Apple is unlikely to change whatever restrictions are in place, the future of Project xCloud on iOS is in doubt. That’s bad news for Microsoft. The company has been clear it wants the service on as many devices as possible. Removing iPhones and iPads from the equation will mean millions won’t have access to xCloud.