Microsoft continues flipping crucial switches and toggles for its cloud-powered Xbox Game Streaming service, and this week’s update is easily the biggest yet. The Xbox Game Streaming service has taken an official leap onto all web browsers and iOS devices.
Should you subscribe to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service, priced at $15/mo, you can now visit xbox.com/play on supported web browsers (Chrome, Safari, Edge) and immediately enter a cloud-gaming instance that resembles the likes of Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, and Nvidia GeForce Now. Connect a controller to your preferred gaming device, then connect to your lowest-latency connection possible, and you’ll have access to a library of over 260 games as powered by a Microsoft Azure server instance. (Without a gamepad, many games won’t work, though some titles have received Xbox Game Streaming updates to add virtual touchscreen controls should you play on a smartphone.) My most recent article about Game Pass clarifies how its pricing and game selection differ from aforementioned rivals.
This follows Microsoft’s late-2020 promise to get Xbox’s cloud service running via an HTML5 interface, which, among other things, would get Xbox Game Streaming to work on Apple’s otherwise restrictive iOS ecosystem. Both Xbox and Stadia faced Apple’s smackdown in terms of App Store rules that would require every game in their service to receive an individual Apple review and rating process, despite the fact that media-streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ don’t receive the same scrutiny for their individual TV series and films. (Without a dedicated Xbox Game Streaming app on iOS, you’ll need to create a web shortcut within iOS Safari to add an app-like shortcut to your iPhone or iPad.)