Xbox Cloud Gaming is finally coming to PC and iOS, albeit in a limited form.
Microsoft’s cloud gaming service, which is internally called Project xCloud, came to Android devices last year and is directly playable from the Xbox Game Pass app. Microsoft wanted to do the same on iOS but ran into issues with regulations on the Apple marketplace.
On April 19 via Xbox Wire, Microsoft finally unveiled the iOS version of the service in addition to a PC version. While a Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on how Microsoft and Apple came to this decision, but it’s good that iOS players will finally have a chance to try out Xbox Cloud Gaming.
The service isn’t just getting a wide release and will instead start with an invite-only beta. If you want to know when this beta begins and how to participate, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know and even got further clarification from Microsoft on it.
When is the Xbox Cloud Gaming iOS and PC beta start date?
Microsoft revealed that the beta will begin on April 20, 2021. Some players in all 22 regions supported by Xbox Game Pass will get invites via email to try out the Xbox Cloud Gaming on PC or Android. This form of game streaming differs from the Android version because users will rely on a web browser instead of an app.
On PC, players will be able to access Xbox Game Pass games through xbox.com/play on Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome. Meanwhile, iOS users can access these games by using the website on Safari. Overall, Microsoft says that over 50 of Xbox Game Pass’s 100+ games will be on the service during the beta.
How to get invited to the Xbox Cloud Gaming iOS and PC beta
The Xbox Cloud Gaming beta is invite-only at this stage. If you’re an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber, you’re eligible for this beta and might get an email inviting you to participate. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a clear way to sign up or increase your chances of getting picked right now.
“Invites for the Xbox Cloud Gaming browser limited beta are being sent to a wide range of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to help us complete our initial testing,” a Microsoft spokesperson tells Inverse. “We recommend members keep an eye on their inbox, as we’ll be sending new invites on a continuous basis.”
This rollout is similar to that of Amazon Luna, which slowly scaled up the number of players who have access. By doing this, Microsoft can work out the worst kinks of the service before a wide release, avoiding the rocky fate that befell Google Stadia.
But this won’t be a limited-time beta forever. The Xbox Wire post teases a more wide release coming in the future, and a Microsoft spokesperson reiterates that to Inverse: “Our intentions are to move from the limited beta to open beta for all Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in the coming months after we address initial testing results,” they explain.
While it’s unfortunate that not everyone who wants access will get it right away, just know that you’ll have another shot at testing Xbox Cloud Gaming out on iOS and PC later this year.