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Microsoft announces Project xCloud - Public beta in 2019


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I got in! I loaded it up just to see it because I didn’t have my Xbox One controller here, but then decided to see if the DS4 would work and it does!

There are 10,000 places open those in the US, Canada and the UK to test Xcloud on iOS devices. The trial game will be the Master Chief Collection.   https://www.xbox.com/en-US/xbox-game-stre

Wow, what a shit show, Apple. Way to screw that up.

18 hours ago, Starhawk said:

I got in! I loaded it up just to see it because I didn’t have my Xbox One controller here, but then decided to see if the DS4 would work and it does!

 

So is the iOS beta iPhone only? Is there a way to try it on iPad yet?

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Actually, my iPad is what I used when trying it out last night.

 

Overall it works fine, but I was thinking it'd be a little better than the competition but it was not. The only game available right now is Halo Master Chief Collection, and I jumped into Combat Evolved with my 12.9" iPad over Wi-Fi and the DS4. There's pixellation when there's a lot going on visually, which is to be expected, but it was more than I thought. The latency of streaming can be felt in input lag, but that's to be expected as well. This always stands out to me most when streaming a first person shooter since aiming seems to make lag stand out the most to me.

 

My biggest takeaway was that it felt on par but no better than PS Now, Share Play, and the little I played of Stadia. Granted I'd tested PS Now over a wired ethernet, but I played a good bit of Death Stranding on my iPad via remote connection to my PS4 Pro over Christmas and the quality of that stream was better and that was using my own Wi-Fi.

 

It's worth remembering this is a beta, but I don't have a lot of faith in game streaming being anything other than supplemental way to play video games, at least for the near future. 

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  • 5 months later...

Microsoft are terminating xCloud testing on iOS devices and will not be launching on iOS devices in September as they are at loggerheads with Apple and some of their app store policies. 

 

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Microsoft hasn’t revealed which Apple policies are preventing xCloud from launching on iOS, but Google’s Stadia game streaming service is also not available on iPhones or iPads. Google merely supplies a Stadia management app, but there’s no game streaming involved. Other game streaming apps have also faced issues on the App Store. Valve’s Steam Link app took nearly a year for Apple to approve even though it primarily streams games from your home PC. 

 

The future of xCloud on iOS remains unclear and potentially out of Microsoft’s hands. The issues appear to be related, in part at least, to Apple’s rules on in-app purchases through its App Store. Apple also has strict limits on “remote desktop clients” that mean apps are only allowed to connect to a user-owned host device or game console owned by the user. Both the host device and client must be connected on a local network, too. While Microsoft could potentially work around the in-app purchase App Store policies, the remote desktop client rules are likely the bigger hurdle.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/5/21356274/microsoft-xcloud-ios-apple-iphone-ipad-testing-ends-apple-app-store-policies

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I can't say I'm surprised xCloud won't be coming to Apple devices at launch. Apple's App Store policies make any such service a non-starter. Even PS Now isn't available right now.

 

I would still like to see Microsoft offer a PlayStation-style remote play app, like Sony currently offers though. I can still play PS4 games on my iPhone, iPad, and iMac if I stream them directly from my console here at home. I would love to be able to do the same with my Xbox games as well.

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9 hours ago, Angry the Clown said:

Microsoft are terminating xCloud testing on iOS devices and will not be launching on iOS devices in September as they are at loggerheads with Apple and some of their app store policies.


I saw news about this yesterday. I am a bit disappointed with this and wish Apple would let these apps exist. 

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It’s annoying that Apple still restrict “alternate stores” ugh. I’m sure it will come to iOS eventually but, like Steamlink it will have to remove the store from the interface and/or make that a separate app. There also no reason this couldn’t be loaded to a web browser in later versions just like GeforceNow or Stadia (WebRTC).

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10 hours ago, Magness said:

It’s annoying that Apple still restrict “alternate stores” ugh. I’m sure it will come to iOS eventually but, like Steamlink it will have to remove the store from the interface and/or make that a separate app. There also no reason this couldn’t be loaded to a web browser in later versions just like GeforceNow or Stadia (WebRTC).


Apparently the issue is not with there being any sort of store, but what the service is doing. Apple will allow apps that stream locally from another box (Steamlink and PS4 Remote Play), but will not allow streaming through the internet through a service (xCloud, Stadia). Most likely because those types of services usually have a subscription and Apple wants their cut. 

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Lots of articles this morning with Apples response -  https://www.pcgamer.com/apple-confirms-it-wont-allow-game-streaming-services-like-xcloud-and-google-stadia-on-ios-devices/

 

The gist is they are saying it’s because they want to approve games individually rather than allowing any game added to the services. This is lame 😒 and makes gaming limited on iOS. I’m hopeful that the policy will change and they’ll start allowing these but, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. 

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23 minutes ago, Magness said:

The gist is they are saying it’s because they want to approve games individually rather than allowing any game added to the services. This is lame 😒 and makes gaming limited on iOS. I’m hopeful that the policy will change and they’ll start allowing these but, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. 

 

I guess part of the problem is they probably know they can actually trust Microsoft and the content on xCloud/Xbox, but if they give way to MS then they'd have to give way to other apps and services that might be less trustworthy? I think Apple will re-think the strategy somehow, but maybe not for a good while. From Microsoft's perspective, if they really want xCloud to be their next big service, then they really need to be on both Android and iOS.

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2 hours ago, JoeyN said:

It is funny though that games On consoles are already rated By ESRB, but Apple allows games that are flat out copies and theft of others on their ecosystem .

Yeah, but they get their cut of those, so it's all good :) 

 

22 hours ago, JFo said:

I would still like to see Microsoft offer a PlayStation-style remote play app, like Sony currently offers though. I can still play PS4 games on my iPhone, iPad, and iMac if I stream them directly from my console here at home. I would love to be able to do the same with my Xbox games as well.

 

So they've had that on PC for a while (local streaming from console), and they have a version in the XCloud app that lets you stream from your console to mobile.  I'm assuming that this will come out around the same time as the cloud streaming stuff.

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Decoding Apple’s Statement to Business Insider Regarding Xbox Game Pass

 

Good writeup from John Gruber at Daring Fireball regarding xCloud not coming to Apple devices:

 

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Running this statement through my Applespeak-to-English decoder ring, what I hear is not that they won’t allow Xbox Game Pass because they can’t review each game separately. What I hear is that game streaming services are not allowed in the iOS App Store. Period, full stop. I don’t even think this has anything to do with whether Microsoft offers in-app subscriptions, or whether those subscriptions get a discount from the standard 70/30 split for the first year. I think Apple’s stance is that game streaming like Microsoft’s xCloud project are simply verboten.

 

App Store guideline 4.2.7, “Remote Desktop Clients”, seemingly makes this clear, too — it’s a written rule, not an unwritten one. This rule is why Steam Link is in the App Store and Xbox Game Pass and Google Stadia are not:

 

(a) The app must only connect to a user-owned host device that is a personal computer or dedicated game console owned by the user, and both the host device and client must be connected on a local and LAN-based network.

 

 

This explains why Remote Play for PS4 is available on iOS, but not PS Now. Remote Play uses a local user-owned device (a PS4) to stream the game to the iPhone or iPad, whereas PS Now is all about streaming from a server over the internet. If Microsoft released an app similar to Remote Play, I think I would be satisfied with that.

 

The biggest issue I have with this is that Apple does allow other types of media to be streamed — music and video for instance — but games, because they’re considered software, are excluded, which really sucks. 

 

I think this tweet sums it up best:

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Apple will now approve streaming game services on iOS devices... albeit with some stipulations that may be a turn off to providers:

 

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Apple has clashed with Microsoft over streaming gaming services in recent weeks, with Apple preventing xCloud, Microsoft's latest gaming service, from being released in the ‌App Store‌ because Apple has no oversight when it comes to the games included in the service. It's not clear if Microsoft will want to upload all xCloud games to the ‌App Store‌ separately, but that appears to be an option for getting xCloud onto iOS.

Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines -- for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the ‌App Store‌.

 

Each streaming game must be submitted to the ‌App Store‌ as an individual app so that it has an ‌App Store‌ product page, appears in charts and search, has user ratings and review, can be managed with Screen Time and other parental control apps, appears on the user's device, etc.

Streaming game services are, however, allowed to offer a catalog app on the ‌App Store‌ to help users sign up for the service and to find the games that have been uploaded to the ‌App Store‌, so long as the app adheres to all of Apple's guidelines. Apps must provide users with an option to pay for a subscription with in-app purchase and use Sign in with Appe. All games must link to an individual ‌App Store‌ product page.

 

 

 

https://www.macrumors.com/2020/09/11/apple-updates-app-store-review-guidelines/

 

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Sounds very similar to the GFNow individual game approval process which also sucks 😕 It’s such a stupid limitation, I hope they revise the policy again to be more inclusive. Stuff like SteamLink works so well on iPad they need to get these services working and not “feature crippled” on iOS. 

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