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Microsoft has tried to bring Xbox exclusives back to … iPhone

If Microsoft’s plan had come to fruition, iOs gamers might have been able to enjoy titles like the latest Halo on their smartphones.

The exclusives are a little the sinews of the console war. Although there are obviously differences in hardware and very different design ideas, in the end, the latest generation consoles box more or less in the same category. For manufacturers, the game catalog is therefore an absolutely major argument when it comes to seducing the public. And that, Microsoft understood it well; according to The verge, the firm would have quietly offered Apple to give it access to some of its flagship titles.

This story began in the fall of 2020, when Apple announced that it would open the doors of its App Store to streaming services like Stadia or xCloud. Microsoft, for its part, did not seem enthusiastic about this idea.

But this positioning on the issue of cloud gaming was apparently only a facade, if one relies on the documents unearthed at the end of the Epic Games lawsuit against Apple. The latter suggest that Microsoft was not only ready to cooperate, but that the company had even offered to give it the keys to some of its precious exclusives.

Two different designs of the catalog cloud

According to the American media, Microsoft’s idea was to deploy an xCloud application directly on the App Store. This would have made it possible in particular to benefit from the flagship titles of the green team such as Microsoft Flight Simulator or the brand new Halo Infinite directly on his iPhone. A prospect for the players, and which also seems interesting from a commercial point of view. It remains to be seen what caused this project to fail; unsurprisingly, it is a difference of point of view at the level of business model to adopt who was right.

To set up such a system, Apple required each application to have its own streaming technology on board. A vision radically opposed to that of Microsoft, which wanted to keep the code related to streaming in a single application serving as a hub for individual applications. A sticking point that the two giants have not been able to overcome, according to Kareem Choudhry, vice president of Cloud Gaming at Microsoft, who explained himself in an interview with The Verge.

Halo infinite delay

Another attempt on a browser?

Our proposal to deploy our games as individual apps was designed to comply with App Store policy. It was rejected by Apple because we requested that there be a single application for the streaming technology to support the individual applications.”, He explains. “Forcing every game to integrate these components was unthinkable in terms of engineering and customer support, resulting in an extremely negative customer experience.”.

Enough to bring the project down? Yes and no. Because if the idea of ​​seeing an xCloud application land on the App Store seems definitely buried, Microsoft has yet another angle of attack to conquer the public of the Apple: web browsers. And if we trust Choudhry’s latest statement, the firm intends to step into the breach.

We’ve changed our priorities, and we’re now moving towards a solution that would allow iOS users to access Xbox Cloud Gaming through their browser.”, He explains. A solution that clearly looks like a spare tire, but which could still pay off in the end. But in the current state of things, it will still be necessary to wait a long time before being able to break Covenant on iPhone.

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