What a difference a month makes. As early as August it was announced that Microsoft would not bring its Project xCloud to iOS after all, as each game had to be checked individually due to Apple’s App Store restrictions.
Now Apple has given way partially. The App Store guidelines have been updated to explicitly allow playing cards and stadiums, but with a big catch. Although the streaming service may have a central “catalog app” for selecting games, each track being streamed requires its own app to make your home screen a little more crowded.
The reasons for this are not entirely clear. After all, the Netflix app doesn̵
Suffice it to say that Microsoft is not happy with this compromise. “This remains a bad experience for customers,” a Microsoft spokesman told Tom’s Guide. “As with films or songs, players want to jump straight from a curated catalog into a game within an app and don’t have to download more than 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud.
“We strive to put the players at the center of everything we do and delivering a great experience is at the core of that mission.”
It’s not immediately apparent whether this statement is just making further concessions or a sign that Microsoft is deciding Game Pass is best for third-party devices. Given that Apple is known to have 30% fewer subscriptions to its devices (15% after the first year), even if it hasn’t made a public commitment in one way or another, it’s likely that Microsoft will consider its options.
This will be Music for Samsung, which made a special point that both the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra support Xbox Game Pass. Not only does Samsung have streaming optimizations, but there is also Samsung-exclusive content for Game Pass subscribers. Pre-orders even came with three months of free Game Pass, and there was a special player pack with a controller handle.
For gamers keeping an eye on the iPhone 12, Samsung’s flagship rivals suddenly seem a little more attractive. And you can imagine the company won’t miss the opportunity to make the upcoming Galaxy S21 game-game-friendly too.
We’ll have to see if Apple and Microsoft can even out their differences, but things don’t look good right now.