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Microsoft has begun testing its game streaming service, xCloud, on the web via a browser for iOS and iPadOS, and on PC via Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, The Verge reports.

xcloud-screenshot.jpg


Microsoft's xCloud service allows subscribers to play games by streaming them from the cloud, instead of having to download the entire game locally on-device. Apple and Microsoft had a brief moment of contention in August of last year as App Store policy restricts services like xCloud from being available on the platform. Apple updated its policy to allow xCloud onto the platform, but it would require Microsoft to submit each game available on the service individually to the App Store, and each would have to be vetted against the platform's guidelines.

Microsoft blasted the rules as a "bad experience for customers," and as a result, said it would push xCloud to iOS and iPadOS users via the browser on Safari. Screenshots provided to The Verge only show an xCloud experience via the browser on desktop, but the experience on iOS and iPadOS will likely be the same. Users will be able to select a game and play it directly within their browser, although the exact resolution the game will be streamed at is as yet unknown. Typically, services like these will automatically adapt the resolution to meet your specific network capability.

xcloudweb_2-3.jpg


At launch, xCloud will only support browsers built on Chromium like Edge and Chrome on the PC, but The Verge's Senior Editor Tom Warren says that he expects support for Safari to be added following internal testing. With testing underway, there's no set timeframe when a public launch will take place, but The Verge guesses that a release is "getting very close."

Article Link: Microsoft Begins Testing xCloud Game Streaming Service in Browser for iOS and iPadOS
 
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V.K.

macrumors 6502a
Dec 5, 2007
718
467
Toronto, Canada
Microsoft blasted the rules as a "bad experience for customers,"
You know it's ok for MacRumors to express an opinion on this matter rather than just quote Microsoft's. Requiring individual games in the xCloud to be submitted and bought through the App Store is a bad user experience. Requiring that these games be individually vetted by Apple is particularly laughable. Apple is pissing against the wind here and the customers are getting splashed as the result.
 
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vojta3476

macrumors newbie
Jul 31, 2013
27
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Boston, MA
Exciting news, can't wait! I use Steam Remote Play to beam games from my gaming rig to my iPad/Apple TV, and the experience is flawless - just like having a console. Hoping Microsoft can bring similar performance with xCloud!
As a frustrated user of OneDrive, Teams, and countless other "almost-there-but-something-sucks" softwares from them, I feel supremely confident that Microsoft will find some way to mess this up.
 

ThemePro

macrumors demi-god
May 1, 2010
153
144
I use Stadia on a Safari browser and the experience is as good as the dedicated app on Android. Amazon's Luna does it just as well. Not surprisingly, Microsoft is lumbering along and just in the employee test phase. It's not a bad experience if the developer can provide a platform agnostic experience and one that doesn't require App Store approvals and paying Apple tax.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
1,967
3,386
Microsoft is getting there with this - their server side component is the old (8 yr old?) Xbox One - so 1080p at best, sometimes less on some games. Seems like they need another year or two (with backside hardware upgrades) before it's actually giving a better than the old Xbox One.

GeForce now is limited to 1080p as well (with no talk of updating the hardware there) and much of the PC catalog it could access through Steam or Epic's game Store pulled and not available. Stadia is the only thing released (not testing) out there that gives a very good user experience at this point - you literally can use Chrome to run it on any PC Mac with a good internet connection.

What is weird is epic. Instead of wasting all the money on lawyers and advertising. They could have gotten this via the browser by now.

The guy running them strikes me as a bit of cook, looking at the interviews of him - he seems to want the industry to go back to the old Apple II / PC where you can do anything on your hardware, rather libertarian view, so okay...then looking at what he / Epic does with that on the PC is a good portal, Epic has a game store for the PC, its the only way you can get Fortnite on your PC (wasn't always that way), sells other vendors games and you have to launch Fortnite via that store each time you want to run it (advertising shoved in your face every time). Epic has gradually locked away the ability to just launch the game by its exe over time so that doesn't work. Guessing he'd literally want that on our iThings if given his druthers.
 
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mi7chy

macrumors G4
Oct 24, 2014
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That's some feat for Microsoft to get it working in the gimped mobile Safari. Desktop Safari, I believe, recently started working with Stadia with a recent Big Sur update. I use Chrome anyway since it has always worked for Stadia on MBA M1.
 

Cosmosent

macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
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La Jolla, CA
It will interesting to see some Latency Compares vs native Game Apps.

I doubt this approach will work for 1st person shooter Game Apps, as the latency is probably far too high to make it realistic / enjoyable.

Game Apps that aren't latency sensitive should do fine in a Browser.

ALL others will fail (miserably) in the market.
 
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adbe

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2008
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That's some feat for Microsoft to get it working in the gimped mobile Safari. Desktop Safari, I believe, recently started working with Stadia with a recent Big Sur update. I use Chrome anyway since it has always worked for Stadia on MBA M1.
There's nothing to get working. Mobile Safari is as capable of driving a RIA website as any other browser, and game streaming is all done at the web socket layer anyway. The challenge is mostly technical, and most of it resides at the server level. Obscuring input lag, gracefully handling inconsistent network speed, etc.
 
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