Cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate coming to PC and iOS next year

Xbox cloud gaming
(Image credit: Press)

Microsoft will bring the cloud gaming available through Xbox Game Pass to Windows PCs and iOS devices in spring 2021. 

The company announced the service's expansion in a new blog post alongside a smattering of data, the most relevant point being that November 2020 Xbox Game Pass subscribers doubled the November 2019 engagement figures. The PC release of Xbox Game Pass cloud gaming is no surprise given Microsoft's presence on the platform, but it is uniquely interesting in that PCs are most likely to be able to handle Xbox games without relying on cloud computing. This will cement Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as a competitor to dedicated streaming services like Google Stadia and Amazon Luna, which are also targeting PC users who don't have the beefiest gaming rigs. 

The iOS release of Xbox cloud gaming, while inevitable, took some doing on Microsoft's part due to Apple's stringent streaming restrictions. In September, a Microsoft representative said that the company's updated terms for Xbox cloud gaming, then known as xCloud, made for "a bad experience for customers." With Apple devices now getting Xbox cloud gaming in the first half of 2021, the two companies have seemingly reached a serviceable compromise on how the app will function on iOS. Speaking of which: iOS devices will use a mobile web browser to access streaming while PC users will go directly through the Xbox app and browser.

Xbox has been beefing up the cloud-specific Xbox Game Pass library for a few months now, and together with its initial roster, the list of streamable games has now topped 100. However, it remains to be seen whether all cloud gaming titles will be available on all platforms. PC is a pretty safe bet, but I wouldn't put it past Apple to block specific games. Hopefully everyone gets the full experience, though. 

Here are the best Xbox cloud gaming titles available right now. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.