Apple has been bigging up gaming for a while now – the image above shows Assassin's Creed Mirage on iPhone 15 Pro, one of the big gaming announcements Apple made around the iPhone 15 – but a new change to its App Store rules could be the biggest boost to iPhone gaming we've ever seen – and it could put multiple iPhones in with the best gaming phones.
For many gamers (hello!) services such as Xbox Game Pass are the real killer apps of consoles and PCs: a single subscription with a world of games remains superb value for money – and until this week, something you couldn't have on iPhone. That's because Apple demanded that each individual title had to have its own separate App Store listing, so Apple was effectively demanding a stand-alone app for every single game. That's now changed.
What do Apple's new rules mean for Game Pass and GeForce Now?
The new rules say that developers can now submit a single app for their game streaming service, so for example you would have a Game Pass app that gave you access to all your subscription. Because this is Apple there are still fairly strict rules, so for example, the app age rating has to be for the highest age rating of the games accessible through the app and the app has to meet other App Store guidelines. But the move towards one app to rule them all is a very positive one.
As far as I can tell none of the big gaming streamers have made an official announcement regarding the rule change, but given previous statements by the likes of Microsoft – statements of the "we want our games to be played on everything, everywhere" variety – it looks like it'll be a case of when the streaming comes to iPhone, not if it's coming. A dedicated app is a much more pleasant prospect than the current situation, which requires you to stream via your web browser.
It's probably not a coincidence that the rule change comes within days of the launch of the Vision Pro. For all its technological wonders, Apple's mixed reality headset is still short of things to do with it – and these App Store changes open the door for the likes of Game Pass on your face.