Microsoft remains committed to bringing Xbox Game Pass to iPhone

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2020
In an interview on CNBC, Microsoft's Xbox lead Phil Spencer said it remains committed to bringing Xbox Game Pass to a variety of platforms, including Apple's iPhone.

Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider
Credit: Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider


In August, Microsoft ended its Project xCloud testing on iOS, citing Apple's restrictive rules on cloud gaming systems. But, at the time, the company said it would still look for a way to bring Xbox Game Cloud to the App Store.

During a CNBC interview On Monday concerning Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda Softworks, Spencer reiterated that commitment to bring the cloud service to Apple devices.

"We're committed to bringing Game Pass to all mobile phones out there, including Apple phones," Spencer said. "We'll continue the conversations and I'm sure we'll be able to get to some resolution."

When asked about why Microsoft has spoken out against Apple's policies, Spencer said that it wasn't a financial issue related to Apple's 30% of in-app purchases. Instead, the Xbox chief said it was because Game Pass -- and cloud gaming services as a whole -- aren't allowed on Apple's mobile devices in their current form.

The comments come a few days after Microsoft released a similar statement to French newspaper Le Figaro. "I'm determined to find a solution. We talk to them a lot. It won't be today, probably not tomorrow, but we will manage to bring Game Pass to iPhone," Spencer told the publication.

It seems that Spencer was referring to the Xcloud aspect of Game Pass, rather than native ports. Microsoft's Xcloud is a server-based game solution, where the heavy lifting and graphically intensive calculations are performed on Microsoft-provided servers, with the game video stream being send to the phone, and user input returned to the game server.

Microsoft originally killed its plans to bring Xbox Game Pass to the iPhone due to Apple restrictions barring apps from streaming content from the cloud and requiring individual games to have their own app store listings, among other rules. Apple's own Apple Arcade service follows those guidelines.

Earlier in September, Apple loosened existing cloud gaming rules. Among the changes were new guidelines permitting "catalog apps" to help users sign up for cloud gaming services. Apple maintained its requirement for each game to have an App Store listing.

Microsoft was quick to criticize those changes for not going far enough, claiming that they still made for a "bad experience."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Now that Microsoft is buying Zenimax, presumably that includes Bethesda Game Studios, which means that Microsoft will own all of BGS' IP, including Fallout.  So maybe they could transfer the Fallout IP to Obsidian. 🤣
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Note that unlike Stadia and GeForce Now - both of which I access on my Chromebooks from time to time - xCloud is not yet available on browser or PC. So this looks like a staged release to get a product in the wild in time for preorders for XBox X and XBox S (which launch tomorrow). So the mobile app was only stage 1, and in fact the Game Pass web site still declares the service to be in a beta state. 

    Bringing the cloud service to existing Game Pass PC customers - who already have a Windows 10 app - will come in early 2021 and be stage 2. Meaning that the final stage will likely be browser support.

    If Apple doesn't decide to just go ahead and treat a "Netflix or iTunes for games" service like a, well, Netflix or iTunes for games service, then browser support is how xCloud will get onto Apple devices. On macOS, obviously. As for iOS and iPadOS, it depends upon whether the mobile version of Safari can support video game streaming. Honestly, I seriously doubt it. However, that "may" be an area where Microsoft and Apple could collaborate on ... updating iOS Safari in a way that gives it game streaming capability. I could see Nvidia taking advantage of that with GeForce Now also, as well as the Amazon and PlayStation services when they launch. Stadia? If it is still in existence by then - because honestly having played all 3 services (Stadia and GeForce Now both have free tiers and the initial month of xCloud is only $1) and it is clearly the worst in UI/UX and game selection - it is 50/50 at best, as they have so much invested in leveraging Chrome.

    I would be curious - since they are the only ones that are not an Apple competitor - does Nvidia have a plan for getting on iOS and iPadOS? That would be intriguing to know.
    edited September 2020 firelock
  • Reply 3 of 11
    cloudguy said: On macOS, obviously. As for iOS and iPadOS, it depends upon whether the mobile version of Safari can support video game streaming. Honestly, I seriously doubt it. 
    Not sure why it wouldn't. Game streaming typically uses less bandwidth than video streaming and mobile Safari can obviously handle video streams. I'm sure that's part of the reason Apple has already said that game streaming services have the option of running through the browser instead of appearing in the App Store. 
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    For anyone interested, here's a real world example of what users can expect.  I chose this video specifically because the youtuber has below average-to-average internet service.  It's probably similar to a large swath of the populace.  Judging the service on someone streaming on a Gigabit connection seems it would be a best case scenario instead of a realistic representation.  For reference, he's streaming Forza Horizon 4.  63GB base game, over 100GB with DLC content.  Also a tidbit of Sea of Thieves, and a sad attempt at using mobile data.




  • Reply 5 of 11
    cloudguy said: On macOS, obviously. As for iOS and iPadOS, it depends upon whether the mobile version of Safari can support video game streaming. Honestly, I seriously doubt it. 
    Not sure why it wouldn't. Game streaming typically uses less bandwidth than video streaming and mobile Safari can obviously handle video streams. I'm sure that's part of the reason Apple has already said that game streaming services have the option of running through the browser instead of appearing in the App Store. 
    But I think you would still want a streaming app in order to best support game controllers.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,716member
    For anyone interested, here's a real world example of what users can expect.  I chose this video specifically because the youtuber has below average-to-average internet service.  It's probably similar to a large swath of the populace.  Judging the service on someone streaming on a Gigabit connection seems it would be a best case scenario instead of a realistic representation.  For reference, he's streaming Forza Horizon 4.  63GB base game, over 100GB with DLC content.  Also a tidbit of Sea of Thieves, and a sad attempt at using mobile data.




    ...half a second latency...or more...

    That's just abysmal, and this guy is apologizing for it. Sure, shitty average service of 35 mbps.

    No wonder that Apple isn't all that excited about the prospect of a slow ass streaming system running on their leading edge hardware.

    Gilliam_Bateswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    tmay said:
    For anyone interested, here's a real world example of what users can expect.  I chose this video specifically because the youtuber has below average-to-average internet service.  It's probably similar to a large swath of the populace.  Judging the service on someone streaming on a Gigabit connection seems it would be a best case scenario instead of a realistic representation.  For reference, he's streaming Forza Horizon 4.  63GB base game, over 100GB with DLC content.  Also a tidbit of Sea of Thieves, and a sad attempt at using mobile data.




    ...half a second latency...or more...

    That's just abysmal, and this guy is apologizing for it. Sure, shitty average service of 35 mbps.

    No wonder that Apple isn't all that excited about the prospect of a slow ass streaming system running on their leading edge hardware.

    That's a weirdly odd and aggressive take.  Apple's concern is ensuring they get their 30% cut of dlc.  They couldn't care less about what's running on their leading edge hardware.  The App Store is literally and figuratively filled with a ton crap gaming apps.  Latency is going to be determined by internet connection and game assets.  Same issue with any other stream.  The better the connection, the less latency there is likely to be.  

    My point for showing the video was not to criticize, but educate.  Anyone thinking about getting any streaming game service needs to think about the connection first and foremost.  I wouldn't mind streaming a game like Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on my iPad... or Sea of Thieves, which was crazy fun.  

  • Reply 8 of 11
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,716member
    tmay said:
    For anyone interested, here's a real world example of what users can expect.  I chose this video specifically because the youtuber has below average-to-average internet service.  It's probably similar to a large swath of the populace.  Judging the service on someone streaming on a Gigabit connection seems it would be a best case scenario instead of a realistic representation.  For reference, he's streaming Forza Horizon 4.  63GB base game, over 100GB with DLC content.  Also a tidbit of Sea of Thieves, and a sad attempt at using mobile data.




    ...half a second latency...or more...

    That's just abysmal, and this guy is apologizing for it. Sure, shitty average service of 35 mbps.

    No wonder that Apple isn't all that excited about the prospect of a slow ass streaming system running on their leading edge hardware.

    That's a weirdly odd and aggressive take.  Apple's concern is ensuring they get their 30% cut of dlc.  They couldn't care less about what's running on their leading edge hardware.  The App Store is literally and figuratively filled with a ton crap gaming apps.  Latency is going to be determined by internet connection and game assets.  Same issue with any other stream.  The better the connection, the less latency there is likely to be.  

    My point for showing the video was not to criticize, but educate.  Anyone thinking about getting any streaming game service needs to think about the connection first and foremost.  I wouldn't mind streaming a game like Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on my iPad... or Sea of Thieves, which was crazy fun.  

    Then, why not post a link to a reviewer, that is actually running 200 to 600 mbps, with an actual low latency connection, to a server located relatively close by, because those are the conditions necessary to have a "good" experience with streaming games?

    If the many of you that are in favor of streaming games would stop gaslighting everyone on what constitutes reasonable play on a mobile device, any device really, then I wouldn't rave reason to post. Seriously, there are gamers that you are competing against that have 1 ms ping, VPN's, > $5K gaming rigs, and 200 to 1000 Gbps internet, that are competing with you. Good luck on competitive gameplay.

    For 30 frames per second, you have 33 ms to upload your controller data to the server, create the frame, and download it back to the device. The link you posted, had a ping of 8, which means that the frame, likely only 1080P, now has only 25 ms to be created, and from your link, it was more than 500 ms. For the particular game shown, Forza Horizon 4, that was completely unacceptable, and he recommended a completely different game type.

    Any of Apple's "crap ton" (not "ton crap", for the record) will run at 30 to 60 frames per second on an iPhone of recent vintage, anything 10 and newer. I'm not adverse to a campaign to encourage Apple to allow game streaming, but for fucks sake, at least be reasonable about conditions necessary to have a "good" or "reasonable" experience.
    edited September 2020 Gilliam_Bateswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    tmay said:
    tmay said:
    For anyone interested, here's a real world example of what users can expect.  I chose this video specifically because the youtuber has below average-to-average internet service.  It's probably similar to a large swath of the populace.  Judging the service on someone streaming on a Gigabit connection seems it would be a best case scenario instead of a realistic representation.  For reference, he's streaming Forza Horizon 4.  63GB base game, over 100GB with DLC content.  Also a tidbit of Sea of Thieves, and a sad attempt at using mobile data.




    ...half a second latency...or more...

    That's just abysmal, and this guy is apologizing for it. Sure, shitty average service of 35 mbps.

    No wonder that Apple isn't all that excited about the prospect of a slow ass streaming system running on their leading edge hardware.

    That's a weirdly odd and aggressive take.  Apple's concern is ensuring they get their 30% cut of dlc.  They couldn't care less about what's running on their leading edge hardware.  The App Store is literally and figuratively filled with a ton crap gaming apps.  Latency is going to be determined by internet connection and game assets.  Same issue with any other stream.  The better the connection, the less latency there is likely to be.  

    My point for showing the video was not to criticize, but educate.  Anyone thinking about getting any streaming game service needs to think about the connection first and foremost.  I wouldn't mind streaming a game like Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on my iPad... or Sea of Thieves, which was crazy fun.  

    Then, why not post a link to a reviewer, that is actually running 200 to 600 mbps, with an actual low latency connection, to a server located relatively close by, because those are the conditions necessary to have a "good" experience with streaming games?

    If the many of you that are in favor of streaming games would stop gaslighting everyone on what constitutes reasonable play on a mobile device, any device really, then I wouldn't rave reason to post. Seriously, there are gamers that you are competing against that have 1 ms ping, VPN's, > $5K gaming rigs, and 200 to 1000 Gbps internet, that are competing with you. Good luck on competitive gameplay.

    For 30 frames per second, you have 33 ms to upload your controller data to the server, create the frame, and download it back to the device. The link you posted, had a ping of 8, which means that the frame, likely only 1080P, now has only 25 ms to be created, and from your link, it was more than 500 ms. For the particular game shown, Forza Horizon 4, that was completely unacceptable, and he recommended a completely different game type.

    Any of Apple's "crap ton" (not "ton crap", for the record) will run at 30 to 60 frames per second on an iPhone of recent vintage, anything 10 and newer. I'm not adverse to a campaign to encourage Apple to allow game streaming, but for fucks sake, at least be reasonable about conditions necessary to have a "good" or "reasonable" experience.
    FFS stop raging, re-read and try to comprehend my post.  It was a cautionary tale.  I posted a video that showed what I think is a real world experience for most people with below average/average internet connections.  Most people fall into that category.  I purposely didn't choose a video demonstrating the service on an above average to excellent connection.  All things I clearly stated in my original post.  I reiterated that in my second post and you still didn't get it.  The second to last sentence should have made that even more clear.

    I am one of the gamers you mentioned.  I have AT&T Fiber, both consoles and a gaming rig.  I'd have no issue.  My post wasn't for people like me.  It was for people who have less than ideal set ups to get a realistic picture of what to expect.  Nothing in my post suggests I'm advocating for anyone to use the service.

    Also, I know it's crap ton.  I use that phrase all the time.  It was a simple typo.  Less time critiquing my grammar and more time comprehending what I wrote would be really appreciated.
    Gilliam_Batesbala1234firelockctt_zh
  • Reply 10 of 11
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,716member
    tmay said:
    tmay said:
    For anyone interested, here's a real world example of what users can expect.  I chose this video specifically because the youtuber has below average-to-average internet service.  It's probably similar to a large swath of the populace.  Judging the service on someone streaming on a Gigabit connection seems it would be a best case scenario instead of a realistic representation.  For reference, he's streaming Forza Horizon 4.  63GB base game, over 100GB with DLC content.  Also a tidbit of Sea of Thieves, and a sad attempt at using mobile data.




    ...half a second latency...or more...

    That's just abysmal, and this guy is apologizing for it. Sure, shitty average service of 35 mbps.

    No wonder that Apple isn't all that excited about the prospect of a slow ass streaming system running on their leading edge hardware.

    That's a weirdly odd and aggressive take.  Apple's concern is ensuring they get their 30% cut of dlc.  They couldn't care less about what's running on their leading edge hardware.  The App Store is literally and figuratively filled with a ton crap gaming apps.  Latency is going to be determined by internet connection and game assets.  Same issue with any other stream.  The better the connection, the less latency there is likely to be.  

    My point for showing the video was not to criticize, but educate.  Anyone thinking about getting any streaming game service needs to think about the connection first and foremost.  I wouldn't mind streaming a game like Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on my iPad... or Sea of Thieves, which was crazy fun.  

    Then, why not post a link to a reviewer, that is actually running 200 to 600 mbps, with an actual low latency connection, to a server located relatively close by, because those are the conditions necessary to have a "good" experience with streaming games?

    If the many of you that are in favor of streaming games would stop gaslighting everyone on what constitutes reasonable play on a mobile device, any device really, then I wouldn't rave reason to post. Seriously, there are gamers that you are competing against that have 1 ms ping, VPN's, > $5K gaming rigs, and 200 to 1000 Gbps internet, that are competing with you. Good luck on competitive gameplay.

    For 30 frames per second, you have 33 ms to upload your controller data to the server, create the frame, and download it back to the device. The link you posted, had a ping of 8, which means that the frame, likely only 1080P, now has only 25 ms to be created, and from your link, it was more than 500 ms. For the particular game shown, Forza Horizon 4, that was completely unacceptable, and he recommended a completely different game type.

    Any of Apple's "crap ton" (not "ton crap", for the record) will run at 30 to 60 frames per second on an iPhone of recent vintage, anything 10 and newer. I'm not adverse to a campaign to encourage Apple to allow game streaming, but for fucks sake, at least be reasonable about conditions necessary to have a "good" or "reasonable" experience.
    FFS stop raging, re-read and try to comprehend my post.  It was a cautionary tale.  I posted a video that showed what I think is a real world experience for most people with below average/average internet connections.  Most people fall into that category.  I purposely didn't choose a video demonstrating the service on an above average to excellent connection.  All things I clearly stated in my original post.  I reiterated that in my second post and you still didn't get it.  The second to last sentence should have made that even more clear.

    I am one of the gamers you mentioned.  I have AT&T Fiber, both consoles and a gaming rig.  I'd have no issue.  My post wasn't for people like me.  It was for people who have less than ideal set ups to get a realistic picture of what to expect.  Nothing in my post suggests I'm advocating for anyone to use the service.

    Also, I know it's crap ton.  I use that phrase all the time.  It was a simple typo.  Less time critiquing my grammar and more time comprehending what I wrote would be really appreciated.
    So, you admit that the experience for average users is shit? I agree, because that's what I got from your link. 

    It won't always be shit, because over time, some users will have access to better internet services, but even then, streaming will not come close to an actual gaming rig. That's just physics, so gaming rigs vs streaming is like clubbing baby seals; streaming will be at a huge disadvantage.

    edited September 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    tmay said:
    tmay said:
    tmay said:
    For anyone interested, here's a real world example of what users can expect.  I chose this video specifically because the youtuber has below average-to-average internet service.  It's probably similar to a large swath of the populace.  Judging the service on someone streaming on a Gigabit connection seems it would be a best case scenario instead of a realistic representation.  For reference, he's streaming Forza Horizon 4.  63GB base game, over 100GB with DLC content.  Also a tidbit of Sea of Thieves, and a sad attempt at using mobile data.




    ...half a second latency...or more...

    That's just abysmal, and this guy is apologizing for it. Sure, shitty average service of 35 mbps.

    No wonder that Apple isn't all that excited about the prospect of a slow ass streaming system running on their leading edge hardware.

    That's a weirdly odd and aggressive take.  Apple's concern is ensuring they get their 30% cut of dlc.  They couldn't care less about what's running on their leading edge hardware.  The App Store is literally and figuratively filled with a ton crap gaming apps.  Latency is going to be determined by internet connection and game assets.  Same issue with any other stream.  The better the connection, the less latency there is likely to be.  

    My point for showing the video was not to criticize, but educate.  Anyone thinking about getting any streaming game service needs to think about the connection first and foremost.  I wouldn't mind streaming a game like Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice on my iPad... or Sea of Thieves, which was crazy fun.  

    Then, why not post a link to a reviewer, that is actually running 200 to 600 mbps, with an actual low latency connection, to a server located relatively close by, because those are the conditions necessary to have a "good" experience with streaming games?

    If the many of you that are in favor of streaming games would stop gaslighting everyone on what constitutes reasonable play on a mobile device, any device really, then I wouldn't rave reason to post. Seriously, there are gamers that you are competing against that have 1 ms ping, VPN's, > $5K gaming rigs, and 200 to 1000 Gbps internet, that are competing with you. Good luck on competitive gameplay.

    For 30 frames per second, you have 33 ms to upload your controller data to the server, create the frame, and download it back to the device. The link you posted, had a ping of 8, which means that the frame, likely only 1080P, now has only 25 ms to be created, and from your link, it was more than 500 ms. For the particular game shown, Forza Horizon 4, that was completely unacceptable, and he recommended a completely different game type.

    Any of Apple's "crap ton" (not "ton crap", for the record) will run at 30 to 60 frames per second on an iPhone of recent vintage, anything 10 and newer. I'm not adverse to a campaign to encourage Apple to allow game streaming, but for fucks sake, at least be reasonable about conditions necessary to have a "good" or "reasonable" experience.
    FFS stop raging, re-read and try to comprehend my post.  It was a cautionary tale.  I posted a video that showed what I think is a real world experience for most people with below average/average internet connections.  Most people fall into that category.  I purposely didn't choose a video demonstrating the service on an above average to excellent connection.  All things I clearly stated in my original post.  I reiterated that in my second post and you still didn't get it.  The second to last sentence should have made that even more clear.

    I am one of the gamers you mentioned.  I have AT&T Fiber, both consoles and a gaming rig.  I'd have no issue.  My post wasn't for people like me.  It was for people who have less than ideal set ups to get a realistic picture of what to expect.  Nothing in my post suggests I'm advocating for anyone to use the service.

    Also, I know it's crap ton.  I use that phrase all the time.  It was a simple typo.  Less time critiquing my grammar and more time comprehending what I wrote would be really appreciated.
    So, you admit that the experience for average users is shit? I agree, because that's what I got from your link. 

    It won't always be shit, because over time, some users will have access to better internet services, but even then, streaming will not come close to an actual gaming rig. That's just physics, so gaming rigs vs streaming is like clubbing baby seals; streaming will be at a huge disadvantage.

    Admit?  That was my whole point.  Albeit with a lot less vitriol and hyperbole that you seem to be insistent on injecting into the conversation.  What are you mad about? Seriously, seems like you're irrationally angry about a fairly benign topic.  No one is under the illusion that game streaming is on par with connected gaming.  Game streaming is not going to be ideal for every game genre either.  It's in it's infancy so people are going to discover what works and what doesn't.  Every game doesn't require twitch reflexes and accuracy.  As the services mature, things will get better.  Look at the original Apple Watch.  Compare it to the AW2 or AW3 and there's a night and day difference in improvements.  Compare it to the AW5 or AW6 and the improvements are lightyears greater.  That's not to say streaming games is going to become the next coming of Jeebus.  That is to say it's first gen and will improve over time.  People should judge it accordingly.  That's why I attempted to show what it looks like in the real world.  Your reaction to it seems disproportionate to what it is.
       
    ctt_zh
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