When Xbox Game Pass Ultimate launches next month, the service will give users access to 100 streaming games, provided the subscribers aren't iOS users. Unfortunately, Apple will not allow the app to appear on its products. While that will undoubtedly prove frustrating for Xbox fans, it does seem to be in keeping with Apple's standard practices; Google Stadia is also prevented from appearing on iOS devices, as well. In a statement to Business Insider, Apple explained that the service will not appear on its devices because it would not be able to individually review all games available on the service.
"Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search," Apple said in the statement provided to Business Insider. "In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store."
While this seems to be Apple's standard practice for gaming, Microsoft was quick to point out that there seems to be a double standard for video and music streaming outlets. A representative from Microsoft spoke to The Verge, revealing the company's unhappiness with Apple's decision.
"Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. And it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content," a Microsoft spokesperson said to The Verge. "All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog are rated for content by independent industry ratings bodies such as the ESRB and regional equivalents. We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform."
It remains to be seen whether or not Microsoft will have any luck convincing Apple to change that policy, but it seems unlikely that it will happen in time for the service's September 15th launch. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate could be a major success for Microsoft, granting users access to some of the company's biggest games at any time. It could even give Microsoft a major advantage over Sony in the coming battle between the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. However, with so many potential users unable to access the service, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate could be a harder sell.
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