Microsoft and Samsung have been fostering a partnership since last year, and just before the latter's Unpacked event this week, a leak suggested that something more was brewing on the gaming front, with news that the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra would be optimised Microsoft's Project xCloud game streaming service.
This was further bolstered by another leak, that claimed Samsung would be offering pre-order bundles across its range of new devices that would include an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription along with a MOGA X5-X+ Game Controller for playing Xbox Series X and Xbox One games on the go via the new game streaming service.
Not only was all of this confirmed at Unpacked, but Microsoft also announced that - thanks to its partnership with Samsung - Galaxy device owners will be getting their own version of the Xbox Game Pass app, that gives users in the Samsung Galaxy ecosystem exclusive rewards and benefits over other Android users and the Google Play Store.
But what about Project xCloud and iOS? Well, it looks like bad news for iPhone users - and gamers who were planning on using their iPhone 12 for gaming-on-the-go might want to rethink their plans.
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The iOS xCloud game streaming beta kicked off in February, but had to make a number of changes from the Android version to "comply with App Store policies," as laid out in a blog post by Microsoft's Larry Hryb. As of this week, we know that xCloud will roll out for Android users on September 15, but we've heard nothing about its plans for going live on iOS, which is bad news for iPhone users, given that the beta has now come to an end on the platform.
In a statement to The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson said:
"Our Project xCloud preview TestFlight period has ended on iOS and we are focused on delivering cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to Android customers beginning September 15.
"It’s our ambition to scale cloud gaming through Xbox Game Pass available on all devices.”
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What does that mean in a nutshell? Don't expect to see Microsoft's game streaming service on iOS any time soon, as it's probably figuring out how to work around Apple's store policy - which is notorious for throwing up hurdles for App makers trying to get their content on the App Store.
We don't have official word on what the hold up is, or if it'll be resolved, but if you were planning on grabbing yourself an iPhone 12 to enjoy xCloud, you might want to think twice.
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- Pre-order the new Samsung Galaxy Note20 or Note20 Ultra 5G at EE and get 3 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate with a free Xbox controller and wireless charging stand OR Samsung Galaxy Buds+ with the Galaxy Note20 or Galaxy Buds Live with the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
- Pre-order at O2 and get the same deal
- Pre-order at Carphone Warehouse and get the same deals
- Pre-order Samsung Galaxy Note 20 range at Sky Mobile and get the same deals
- Pre-order on GiffGaff and get the same deals
- Pre-order Galaxy Note 20 range at Samsung and get the same deals
- Pre-order Galaxy Tab S7 or S7+ at Samsung and get a free Claim a Book Cover or a Games Pack
- Pre-order Galaxy Watch 3 at Samsung and get a Wireless Charger Duo Pad worth £89.99
Source: The Verge