MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
53,458
15,186


Microsoft's executive vice president of gaming, Phil Spencer, has discussed Xbox's approach to Apple Arcade, App Store fees, and game streaming on iOS via Safari in a new interview with The Verge.

App-Store-and-XCloud.jpg


Earlier this year, Microsoft elected to withhold the launch of its Xbox games streaming service on iOS after it became clear that the project was no longer viable due to Apple's App Store restrictions. Eventually, Microsoft resolved to bypass Apple's restrictions by developing a browser-based solution.

When asked about the state of dialogue between Microsoft and Apple when it comes to game streaming, Spencer assured that Apple "remains open to the user experience we would like people to see." He explained that using a browser-based solution is simpler than a dedicated app in the long-term and it offers access to more devices:

But we have this avenue of a browser that works for us that we will go and build out, which gives us access, frankly, to a lot of devices.

If the device is capable of running a capable web browser, we're going to be able to bring games to it, which is pretty cool. You'll be able to bring all of your saved games and your friends and everything comes with you. It's just Xbox on this new screen with the games. Apple does remain open in the conversations that we have on this topic.

Moreover, Spencer expressed understanding for Apple's position on App Store restrictions and attributes it to Apple Arcade as a competing subscription service:

I can understand their perspective from their position. I don't say I agree with it, but they have a competitive product in Apple Arcade that is competitive with Xbox Game Pass. I'm sure they like having Apple Arcade as the only game content subscription on their phone. We want access to at-scale compute devices that we think should have open access to services customers want.

Spencer drew a specific comparison between Xbox Game Pass and Apple Arcade in terms of motivations, suggesting that both platforms have the same objective of prioritizing a player's engagement time, rather than catalog size.

I will say, and this is a healthy thing for Game Pass — it's true, it sounds like, of Apple Arcade as well — the number one metric that we see that drives success of Game Pass is hours played. It's not catalog size.

He also conveyed a willingness to cooperate with Apple on wider issues such as safety and security:

We're willing to work with them on safety and other things that people have come up with. We run a platform that takes safety and security very carefully. It is very important to us on Xbox, so that topic is not something that's foreign to us.

Spencer was directly asked if he believes Apple purposefully limits the capabilities of Safari in order to push developers to use its App Store and system of fees, but he said that "we have not seen that to date, just like we haven't on Chrome."

Interestingly, Spencer remarked that he believes comparisons between Apple's App Store fees and Xbox's fee structure are unfair due to the nature of their different devices:

If I can put Game Pass on iOS… if you just look at the scale, there are a billion mobile phones on the planet. Those are general compute platforms. A game console does one thing really; it plays video games. It's sold, for us, at a loss. Then you make money back by selling content and services on top. The model is just very, very different from something [on] the scale of Windows, or iOS, or Android.

I think there are 200 million game consoles that are sold in a generation across all of our platforms. That's less than a year of phone sales. It's just not even close.

Microsoft is still developing its browser-based Game Pass streaming solution for iOS and it has recently added device-to-device streaming from an Xbox to iOS and iPadOS devices over Wi-Fi.

The extensive interview also covered a range of other topics, such as the experience of working for Microsoft over the years, Xbox's process for naming its products, and the gaming community, as well as creating a safe environment for gamers.

Read or listen to the full interview at The Verge for more information.

Article Link: Xbox Boss Discusses Apple Arcade, App Store Fees, and Game Pass Streaming in Safari
 

Morgenland

macrumors 65816
May 28, 2009
1,048
973
Europe
Even though the Xbox was the main attraction for the visitors of the Microsoft Store at that time, I don't believe that Microsoft can actively develop any future strategies or future markets. The considerations to avoid Apple are actually quite cute.

Games are primarily designed for a certain age, at the age of 30...40 years the interest decreases significantly (for most people the fight and the hustle and bustle in working life does not want to be continued after work with dragons and virtual skills). But especially the young clientele is important, because if you like the X-Box or the Game Pass streaming solution, you are more friendly to Windows. And that's why games are an interesting market, but overall only a strategic market to bind new customers to its economic system.

I find it well thought out how Apple participates in this market. For simple games their concept is quite sufficient.

Apple has never been able to attract the 'real' console gamers, and they never had a *primary* interest in doing so (although in the meantime they are of course developing increasingly adequate hardware on their own to be able to do it very well very soon).

So I guess that real gamers still do not think of Apple first.
 
Last edited:

rjp1

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2015
486
1,538
Imagine where Apple would be right now if Microsoft had used this level of control over apps on Windows versus letting people run whatever apps they wanted to on their own computer. What if Apple weren't allowed to make iTunes for Windows, but instead had to try to make it as a web app? I'm guessing this website wouldn't exist and Apple would be long gone.

Edit - and if Microsoft had taken 1/3 of all iTunes sales!
 

Unggoy Murderer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2011
608
1,733
Edinburgh, UK
Clearly a double-edge sword !

Apple forces some App & Game Devs to put R&D resources into Browser-based solutions, which in the end, is a Win for those App & Game Devs !

Progressive Web Apps !
PWA's are cancer, and are no replacement or stand-in for a native application. Resource hungry, slow, and abysmal UI/UX.
 

btrach144

macrumors demi-god
Aug 28, 2015
2,201
5,071
Indiana
Your post makes no sense. Aside from the fact that Apple does not prevent competing browsers on iOS, you stated that Edge does run on iOS before stating only Safari is allowed.
It actually makes sense because the poster was saying if Microsoft can make a compatible browser. Microsoft can only make as good of a browser as Apple will allow on iOS due to Apple’s own rules.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,860
14,964
In between a rock and a hard place
Even though the XBox was the main attraction for the visitors of the Microsoft Store at that time, I don't believe that Microsoft can actively develop any future strategies or future markets. They make money in a different way (btw 2021 will see the new Windows driver rebates, hurrah!)

Games are primarily designed for a certain age, at the age of 30...40 years the interest decreases significantly (the fight and the hustle and bustle in working life does not want to be continued after work with dragons and monsters). But especially the young clientele is important, because if you like the X-Box, you are more friendly to Windows. And that's why games are an interesting market, but overall only a strategic market to bind new customers to its economic system.

I find it well thought out how Apple participates this market.

Apple has never been able to attract the 'real' console gamers, and they never had a *primary* interest in doing so (although in the meantime they are of course developing increasingly adequate hardware on their own to be able to do it very well very soon).
Holy smokes. Everything you wrote was written so emphatically... so matter-of-fact. It just makes it all the more striking in it's inaccuracy. Literally everything you wrote is wrong. So wrong in fact, it's hard to gauge where to start pointing out the wrongness. Suffice it to say, yours is a very bad "hot taek". It's almost as if you actively tried to be as inaccurate as possible.
 
Last edited:

Appleman3546

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2019
317
610
Apple really painted themselves into a corner with Apple Arcade, but it is surprising that Apple does not have enough confidence in its own App Store to allow app downloads from a browser (like on the Mac)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Agit21

CarlJ

macrumors 603
Feb 23, 2004
5,401
9,394
San Diego, CA, USA
Your post makes no sense. Aside from the fact that Apple does not prevent competing browsers on iOS, you stated that Edge does run on iOS before stating only Safari is allowed.
You can put another browser on iOS, yes, but Apple requires that it run WebKit under the surface rather than the developer’s own engine. So, Firefox, Chrome, etc., on iOS are largely the same as Safari (from a web developer’s standpoint), but with different bookmarks and syncing and window dressing. Closer to a re-theme than a different browser.
 

gaximus

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2011
1,451
2,304
Well you can run Microsoft Edge on Windows, macOS, iOS, android, Xbox, and Linux.

and on iOS it’s basically just safari due to apples rules.
I should have been clearer, my joke was that their browser wouldn't be able to run the Xbox service, because Microsoft has a horrible track record of browser compatibility.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,860
14,964
In between a rock and a hard place
Honestly I want a streaming service with Game Pass on my Mac and iPad ASAP. With good quality like GeforceNow and low latency like Stadia
Stadia was a surprise for me. I thought that it would be an abominable lag fest since it was Google's first foray into streaming games via a Chromecast. I was wrong. I have AT&T Fiber, so I know that plays a part but Stadia streams very nicely. It's even more of a boon since I got mine free during the timeframe Google was giving them away free to Youtube premium subscribers. Like you, I'm hoping MS original XCloud vision makes it to Macs and iOS because Game Pass is fantastic as a service.
 

hot-gril

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2020
1,729
1,679
Northern California, USA
Comparing Apple Arcade with games that have no depth vs full blown console games. LOL

Streaming console games are going to crush Apple Arcade into the Stone Age. Apple better start adding games that have substance or people aren’t going to pay.
They have depth, just not insane graphics. Controlling a console game on an iPhone sounds like a nightmare anyway.
In fact, the other reason for a game to be on console or PC is the better controls, which matters mostly only for first-person shooters. Those are simply about quick reactions and killing people, not game depth.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: amartinez1660

hot-gril

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2020
1,729
1,679
Northern California, USA
Stadia was a surprise for me. I thought that it would be an abominable lag fest since it was Google's first foray into streaming games via a Chromecast. I was wrong. I have AT&T Fiber, so I know that plays a part but Stadia streams very nicely. It's even more of a boon since I got mine free during the timeframe Google was giving them away free to Youtube premium subscribers. Like you, I'm hoping MS original XCloud vision makes it to Macs and iOS because Game Pass is fantastic as a service.
Yep. It works, and it makes gamers mad because you don't need a "rig" to play it. Except the game selection is lacking at the moment.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.