Home / Technology / Microsoft has told employees it plans to bring Game Pass to the iPhone and iPad

Microsoft has told employees it plans to bring Game Pass to the iPhone and iPad



  • Last month Microsoft officially added a key feature to Game Pass, its Netflix-style subscription library of Xbox games: the ability to stream many of the included games to any Android smartphone or tablet.
  • Notably, Apple’s iPhone and iPad were absent from the launch. Apple said it doesn’t allow apps for streaming services like Game Pass or Google Stadia because it can’t review every game on the platform.
  • “We will definitely end up on iOS with Game Pass,” Microsoft game boss Phil Spencer told employees. The company is aiming for 2021
    for the potential release of a “browser-based direct solution,” Spencer said.
  • Amazon claims to be able to bring its next Luna cloud gaming service to iPhone by offering it as a web app.
  • Microsoft did not comment at the time of publication.
  • Aare you a Microsoft employee? Contact this reporter via the Signal encrypted messaging app (+ 1-425-344-8242) or e-mail (Astawart@businessinsider.com).
  • Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.

Microsoft’s head of games, Phil Spencer, told employees at a meeting on Wednesday that the company plans to bring Game Pass to Apple’s iPhones and iPads, targeting 2021 for the potential release of a “browser-based solution.” direct, ”Business Insider learned.

“We will absolutely end up on iOS,” Spencer told employees, according to two people familiar with his comments. Microsoft did not comment at the time of publication. Apple has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Last month Microsoft added a key new feature to Game Pass, its Netflix-style subscription service that gives Xbox and PC gamers access to a vast catalog of games. Now, Game Pass subscribers can stream many of the included titles directly to their Android phones or tablets, without the need for a console.

Notable for its absence at the feature’s launch was Apple’s iPhone and iPad support. An Apple spokesperson told Business Insider this summer that it doesn’t allow game streaming in apps like Game Pass or Google Stadia because it’s unable to review every game in their respective service libraries.

Spencer, who has publicly stated that he is determined to offer Game Pass to Apple users, told employees that the company is exploring access to iPhone and iPad devices via their browsers.

Later Thursday, The Verge reported that at the same meeting, Spencer said streaming with Game Pass would also arrive on Windows 10 PCs next year.

A hint as to what it might look like comes from Amazon, which says it is capable of bringing its next Luna cloud gaming service to iPhone by offering it as a web app. In an interview with Engadget, Luna’s head of engineering and technology, George Tsipolitis, said that Amazon has partnered with Apple to make this feature possible. Google, meanwhile, makes its similar Stadia service available on PC and Mac via the Chrome web browser, though it too isn’t available on the iPhone or iPad.

Apple indicated that Game Pass or Stadia would only be allowed to offer game streaming services if every single title in the catalog was available in its own separate app.

Microsoft indicated that this approach would not be a start for Game Pass, which has dozens of games available: “Unfortunately, we don’t have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to iOS players via the Apple App Store. “a Microsoft spokesperson said in August.

Apple’s decision to disallow Game Pass-like services on iOS became a topic during Congressional Antitrust Subcommittee investigations into potentially anti-competitive practices by Big Tech companies, including Apple.

Former Apple App Store director Phil Shoemaker, according to a report released this week by the subcommittee, said Apple doesn’t allow services like Game Pass because they compete directly with Apple’s subscription service, Apple Arcade.

Apple this week announced an event scheduled for October 13, where it is expected to unveil its next iPhone.

Do you have a suggestion? Contact reporter Ashley Stewart via the Signal encrypted messaging app (+ 1-425-344-8242) or email (Astawart@businessinsider.com).


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