The door has been opened for a Project xCloud iOS version thanks to new rule changes implemented by Apple for its App Store today.
Previously, some game streaming services — most notably Project xCloud and Google Stadia — were unavailable on iOS, owing largely to the restrictions that Apple had in places for what apps can and cannot do. Those rules have just changed and it's sure to be a boon for mobile gaming.
Going forward, services that use game streaming such as Project xCloud, Google Stadia, Facebook Gaming, and others will finally be allowed on the App Store. There are, however, a couple of caveats.
Firstly, any games offered through these services must be available on iOS. Secondly (and somewhat more annoyingly), each and every game offered through one of these game streaming apps needs to be available as a standalone app within the App Store. Essentially, game streaming services will serve as a "catalog app" of sorts as explained by CNBC.
When Will the Project xCloud iOS Version Launch?
With these changes, a Project xCloud iOS version is finally possible, but it may not be ready to go anytime soon.
I'd put good money on Microsoft having a working version of Project xCloud for iOS, likely developed at the same time as the Android version. Unfortunately, Apple's requirements will make things a little difficult.
While some games will surely be available on iOS in one form or another, Project xCloud (and Stadia, and Facebook Gaming, and goodness knows what other services) largely focus on serving content from a server to your phone. The simple fact is that a native iOS version might not exist.
These new rules mean that Microsoft may need to get to work on porting games to iOS and offering them as standalone titles if they wish to have Project xCloud as an attractive choice on iOS; the same rules would apply to Google Stadia and Facebook Gaming, naturally.
Will these game companies follow through? Apple has consistently held around 20% of the Western mobile market, so it's certainly a decision worth considering — but the price may not be worth it.
Do you think we'll see a Project xCloud iOS version anytime soon or will Microsoft hold off until the App Store restrictions are even looser? Do you plan on using any game streaming services on your phone? Let us know in the comments below!