Xbox Game Pass has arrived on iOS devices via web browser starting today April 20, provided you are invited to the limited beta.
Invites are being sent, and folks who are lucky enough to receive one will be able to play hundreds of Xbox Game Pass games via Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari by logging onto to Xbox.com/play.
As per Xbox Wire:
“The limited beta is our time to test and learn; we’ll send out more invites on a continuous basis to players in all 22 supported countries, evaluate feedback, continue to improve the experience, and add support for more devices. Our plan is to iterate quickly and open up to all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in the coming months so more people have the opportunity to play Xbox in all-new ways.“
Microsoft threw some shade towards Apple earlier this week when they abruptly ended the xCloud Beta on iOS stating that “Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. And it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content.”
Now Epic, has jumped into the fray, leading to a delisting on the Apple App Store for its highest grossing title and a big fat lawsuit.
It all started when Epic, the developer of a massively popular digital daycare system called Fortnite began offering discounts on the game’s V-bucks currency, if gamers specifically bypassed Apple’s App Store, (as well as Google Play).
This discount amounted to up to 20 percent savings on purchases, while Epic gets to cut out Apple’s 30 percent slice it gets from third-party devs.
Apple then retaliated by delisting Fortnite from their App Store.
A few hours later, Epic filed a lawsuit against apple, then released the video below, a solid middle finger and a hardy fuck you to Apple.
For those who are too young to remember (which is anyone who plays Fortnite), this is a parody of Apple’s iconic 1984 Super Bowl commercial for the Mac, which was a dig towards Microsoft. Now, Epic used it to poke at Apple.
Not good times for Apple. There is obviously some tension between them and the gaming industry. Two big companies have come out against Apple’s App Store policies and that can only open up the floodgates to more.
Microsoft has just announced that xCloud and Game Pass Ultimate officially merge September 15. Unofficially, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will get to try the service August 11.
Microsoft has released a statement to The Verge that the the beta opens up August 11, with a pared down library of games.
“As we approach the launch of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on September 15, we’re entering a limited beta period to ensure a smooth transition of the cloud gaming experience to the Xbox Game Pass app on Android,” explains a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “Existing Xbox Game Pass (Beta) app users will get the opportunity to test a subset of the available titles as we ready the experience for broader availability next month. This limited beta is critical to providing the best possible experience for members at launch and should not be considered indicative of the final experience or library.”
Microsoft via The Verge
I have a vacation planned next week and now I have to go out and pick up an Android device to try this out away from home. I would use my iPhone or iPad, but Apple is being a shithead.
Microsoft has announced that its impressive Xbox Game Pass service will be merged with its ambitious xCloud service on September 15.
According to the Microsoft’s official blog, Xbox Wire, “…beginning September 15, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can play more than 100 games from the cloud on their Android phone or tablet.”
So there are some caveats. One needs to be a Game Pass Ultimate subscriber, which is the highest tier at $14.99 per month. Also, you need to have an Android device, which makes you a savage caveman that sends green texts.
With this news Microsoft has announced a slew of compatible xCloud devices for gaming on the go.
Razer Kishi ($100)
PowerA MOGA XP5-X Plus ($70)
8BitDo SN30 Pro ($45)
So finally, we have some interesting gaming related news coming out. It’s not about the Series X, but exciting none-the-less.
Earlier in the week, Xbox boss Phil Spencer put the kibosh on future Xbox exclusives appearing on competitor’s hardware. However, Ben Decker, head of gaming services at Xbox, mentioned that they will always be open to getting Game Pass on as many platforms possible.
“You know, we would like to see Game Pass on all platforms ultimately and I think that is a long term goal. We don’t have any specific plans today, but we would love to see Game Pass really go everywhere.”
Ben Decker via Gamereactor
Interesting turn of events. Since many Xbox exclusives appear on Game Pass, then in a way they could end up on other consoles.
According to a Gamesindustry.biz post, Microsoft has no immediate plans to release exclusive Xbox games on other consoles. Instead, Microsoft will focus on its own platforms.
I’m a simple man, so perhaps I was confused by what ‘exclusive’ actually means.
Okay, so I’m not a total dumbass. Anyway in statement to Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft did clarify:
“The past year has been an exciting time for us as we have more than doubled the internal creative teams making up Xbox Game Studios. As these new studios transitioned in, we were aware of some existing commitments to other platforms and will honor them. However, going forward these new studios will focus on making games for our platforms. We have no plans to further expand our exclusive first party games to other consoles. We continue to believe deeply in cross play and progression of games with the right flexibility for developers to insure a fair and fun experience.”
Microsoft has been releasing titles like Ori and the Blind Forest on Switch as well as Minecraft on multiple platforms. A new generation of consoles is coming into view and Microsoft has been acquiring studios. I’m not surprised that Microsoft wants its investments supporting its own interests.
There has been a lot of speculation of what Microsoft has in store for the next generation. There’s rumors of multiple SKUs, with varying specs. There was even rumors of a streaming only next-gen Xbox powered by xCloud.
Well folks, according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer, there will be one SKU. In an interview with Gamespot, Spencer has confirmed that the team is “not working on a streaming-only console right now…”
Spencer goes on to state that the team is looking to focus on xCloud as a gaming option on as many devices as possible.
“We have more compute devices around us than we’ve ever had, whether it’s your phone, a Surface Hub or an Xbox… The world where compute devices are gone and it’s all coming from the cloud just isn’t the world that we live in today.”
It’s all about giving you options apparently, for Microsoft. Game at home on a powerful console, or on the road via your phone or tablet, It’s an interesting plan, if Microsoft can deliver.
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, whose name reminds me of the delicious hazelnut spread, believes that his company is in a good position for the future of gaming.
During a quarterly investor’s call, Nadella elaborates that Microsoft is well positioned, for the what the gaming market is becoming.
“First, I’ll say we are in gaming because of what we believe are going to be the secular changes in the gaming addressable market for us. We’ve always had a gaming position with console as well as the PC, but going forward we think that any end point can in fact be a great end point for high-end games, which is where our structural position is, and we now have a business model with Game Pass as well as all the supporting mechanisms for game pass like game streaming, we have a social network in Xbox Live that is the best in the business.
So I feel we’re well-positioned to what is going to be a much larger market than what was traditionally gaming in spite of all the success we’ve had over the years in gaming.
The second point is that it builds on the rest of the cloud investment, so if you think about what we’re doing with xCloud it’s a workload on top of Azure. If you think about capital allocation, what’s happening in the cloud, what’s happening in the edge, how we build the network, how we optimize with streaming… The same infrastructure for example is what Sony has decided to use as well and be on Azure as well as user AI capabilities.
So you’ll see significant synergies in terms of the architecture of platform underneath gaming, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Linkedin all being the same.”
Albeit, it’s expected that Nadella is going to fluff the company during an investor’s call. However, the moves Microsoft have been making to indicate that they are playing a long game, and are covering all bases for a future gaming world.
At one time, not too long ago, rumor had it that Microsoft had multiple next-gen consoles. There was a high powered top tier console, which is now known as Xbox Scarlett, a mid-tier, and perhaps a streaming only entry.
The mid-tier version was scrapped, but if rumor has it, a cheap, streaming only, powered by xCloud mini Xbox may still be in the works. This console is intended to be a “Stadia Killer.”
Brad Sims, a contributor at Thurrott.com and industry insider posted the YouTube video below claiming that reliable sources indicate that an answer to Stadia is still in the works by Microsoft.
That is some juicy fucking dirt friends. Can be total bullshit, but I love the rumors and speculation leading up to a new console generation.
I’m personally looking forward to Google, Microsoft, and Sony, three heavyweights if you will, throwing haymakers at each other.
According to a Twitter user by the moniker IdleSloth1984, Microsoft has rolled out xCloud testing for lucky Xbox and Windows Insiders on Android devices.
I’m an Xbox Insider, but apparently not hot shit enough to be invited. I’m also not unwashed Android user, but an iPhone carrying gentleman, thank you very much, so I don’t want to test out your precious streaming service anyway.