Project xCloud testers on iOS can no longer access Microsoft’s game streaming service today. The company has confirmed to The Verge that the iOS beta test has ended yesterday, with the company now being focused on launching its cloud gaming service on Android on September 15.
“Our Project xCloud preview TestFlight period has ended on iOS and we are focused on delivering cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to Android customers beginning September 15,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge. “It’s our ambition to scale cloud gaming through Xbox Game Pass available on all devices.”
The company didn’t explain why it isn’t able to launch its cloud gaming service on iOS next month, though the iOS beta of Project xCloud was actually pretty limited. Halo: The Master Chief Collection was the only game available on iOS devices, compared to dozens on Android. Microsoft previously said that these limitations were implemented “to comply with App Store policies,” though the company never went into specific details.
Microsoft isn’t the only company unable to launch its cloud gaming service on iOS devices. Google is in the same situation with Stadia, which launched on Android last year but is still unavailable on iOS. However, it's worth keeping in mind that Apple has its competing Arcade game subscription service on iOS, macOS, and tvOS, which is still heavily promoted on the App Store.
Apple is currently facing increased criticism for its monopolistic practices on its App Store, but so far the company has managed to keep a tight control on the billion or more iOS devices in the hands of consumers. Microsoft aims to reach the 2 billion people playing games with Project xCloud, and the company won't be able to do that without Apple's support.