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Xbox Game Pass Ultimate game streaming is coming to PC in the first half of 2021

xcloud
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson provided comment regarding the use of a web browser for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on iOS. This has been added below.

Original story:

Microsoft's cloud streaming service is coming to PC in the first half of 2021, following a long period of smartphone exclusive testing. When it comes to PC in "Spring 2021" the xCloud service will be included as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and if the game library is the same as the current Android service, it'll boast over 150 games.

That's not entirely unexpected—the fact that it's coming to iOS at the same time is arguably more interesting. During its beta phase on iOS, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate featured a single game in the form of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. This was due to Apple's famous reluctance to host cloud streaming apps on its App Store. 

In answer to this, it looks like Microsoft is resorting to having users access the streaming service via a mobile web browser on their Apple smart devices, rather than via a dedicated app. 

"Over the past year we’ve worked with Apple to make cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate available through the App Store, but Apple is unwilling to change its policies, which create an unreasonable gamer experience," a Microsoft spokesperson told us. "We’ll deliver a great cloud gaming solution to iOS customers around the world via a web browser beginning in Spring 2021.” 

The 2021 rollout of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate streaming will be a beta, and it'll be available on PC through the Xbox app or a browser. It follows a big push into new markets last month, with the service now available in Australia, Mexico, Brazil and Japan.

Shaun is PC Gamer’s Australian editor and news writer. He mostly plays platformers and RPGs, and keeps a close eye on anything of particular interest to antipodean audiences. He (rather obsessively) tracks the movements of the Doom modding community, too.