After several months of testing, Microsoft has finally opened its Project xCloud preview to users on iOS devices. The game streaming service, which allows players to enjoy their Xbox games on the go through their smart devices, has been in testing on Android since October 2019. That particular preview currently boasts a library of over 50 games, including titles like Forza Horizon 4, Halo 5: Guardians, and Killer Instinct, just to name a few.
Game streaming has recently taken over some areas of the industry, with the launch of digital-only services like Google Stadia and Apple Arcade leading the charge for a market landscape without dedicated game consoles. However, developers don’t seem to be fully on board with the subscription-based model used in other digital gaming services, which makes Microsoft’s attempt at combining dedicated gaming hardware and personal mobile devices a seemingly much more palatable approach for others in the industry.
Up until recently, Microsoft’s Project xCloud preview was limited to users with devices supporting Android 6.0 or newer, but the preview is now being extended to iOS users. This preview is quite a bit more limited than the offering available to Android users and is only available in select regions. Players in the US, UK, and Canada who are hoping to try out the preview will need to register through the TestFlight program for one of only 10,000 available tester spots. Due to App Store policy limitations, however, Xbox console streaming won’t be supported, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be the only experience playable.
In order to sign up for an invitation to this limited preview, players will need to register using a Microsoft account which is linked to their Xbox Gamertag and will need to have a device running iOS 13.0 or later with Bluetooth 4.0. Additionally, players will need to supply their own Xbox One controller and, of course, a reliable Wi-Fi connection stable enough to handle the required 10 Mbps-down speed.
Though much of its functionality is reduced due to App Store policy, the ability for iOS users to experience the next best thing to a portable Xbox One is still quite remarkable. Microsoft has continued to update its Android preview, adding support for DualShock 4 controllers in December 2019 along with several new games, though there has obviously been no mention of any additional updates for the newly opened iOS preview event. Registration is open now, but once the 10,000 tester slots have been claimed there won’t be any additional openings added – so don’t hesitate to sign up.
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