Report: Microsoft will deploy browser workaround to bring Game Pass to iOS

Microsoft will bring Xbox Game Pass to iOS devices by implementing a “direct browser-based solution,” according to leaked comments from Xbox chief Phil Spencer.

As reported by Business Insider, which spoke with “two people with direct knowledge of [Spencer’s] comments,” the Xbox boss explained that Game Pass will “absolutely end up on iOS,” and that the company is currently exploring how to bring the subscription service to Apple devices using web browsers. 

Apple recently updated its iOS App Review Guidelines to prevent services like Game Pass, which now includes game streaming via xCloud, from launching on its platform. The reworked guidelines state that any streaming service that launches on the iOS App Store must participate in the wider App Store ecosystem. 

For Microsoft, this would mean creating a separate iOS app for each and every Xbox Game Pass title with cloud streaming support, which would require a mammoth amount of work given over 150 titles currently offer cloud streaming. 

During a recent interview with CNBC, Phil Spencer said he was confident that Microsoft and Apple would eventually overcome their differences, but also claimed that Apple’s guidelines will create a “bad experience for customers.”

Assuming Microsoft pushes ahead with its browser-based solution, which sounds like it would bypass the App Store altogether, it’ll be fascinating to see how Apple responds.