Microsoft Xbox cloud gaming comes to PC and Apple iOS

Beta invitations are out now for xCloud, Microsoft's Xbox cloud gaming service on iPhone, iPad or PC

Xbox Game Cloud
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Xbox Cloud Gaming provides Game Pass Ultimate members with a way to play when away from their consoles. The service, also known as xCloud, gives access to over 100 console games on PC or Apple iOS device, to play from the cloud using either touch controls or controller via WIFI or USB.

Though initially in beta and available by invite-only, the service will soon be available to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members across all 22 supported countries. While the service has been available on Android phones and tablets since September 2020, there has been a delay in bringing the service to iOS devices due to Apple wanting to approve all games individually. From the notice today, it appears that all games currently available for Android devices will be playable on Apple mobile devices and Windows 10 PCs.

Many of the games included in the Xbox Cloud Gaming service have been specially adapted to allow the use of touch controls. These include titles such as Minecraft Dungeons, Dead Cells and Hotshot racing. The full list of games can be found on the Game Pass website and includes Star Wars: Squadrons, Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, Dirt 5, Final Fantasy XII, Football Manager 2021 and 12 Halo titles including Halo Wars 2.

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(Image credit: Microsoft)

For the time being access to the service is by invite-only to existing Game Pass Ultimate members. If you’re lucky enough to receive an email, simply follow the link and log in with your account details. Games are played in a browser rather than an app and will work on Google Chrome, Safari and Microsoft Edge (87 or greater) browsers. Microsoft hasn’t stated that the service will work on Mac versions of browsers.

In its release, Microsoft says that the Beta will allow them to fine-tune features and create a consistent experience across platforms. With this in mind, users that do receive an invitation should expect a less-than-perfect experience at first. However,  being able to play these titles on an iPad is worth it. We look forward to the full roll-out when it comes – hopefully later this year.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offers access to 100s of games for console, PC and mobile devices, including Xbox Game Studios titles on the day of release, EA Play titles and Xbox Live Gold membership. Membership costs just $1 / £1 / AU$1 for the first month, then $14 / £10.99 / AU$15.95 per month. You can also get an Xbox Series X or Series S console starting from $24.99 / £20.99 /AU$33 per month, for 24 months, with Game Pass included.

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.