“We absolutely will end up on iOS,” Spencer told employees, according to two people with direct knowledge of his comments. Microsoft did not comment at the time of publication. Apple has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Microsoft last month added a key new feature to Game Pass, its Netflix-style subscription service that gives Xbox and PC gamers access to a vast catalogue of games. Now, Game Pass subscribers can stream many of the included titles directly to their Android phones or tablets, no console required.
Notable by its absence at the feature’s launch was support for Apple’s iPhone and iPad. An Apple spokesperson told Business Insider this summer that doesn’t allow for game streaming in apps like Game Pass or Google’s Stadia because it is unable to review each game in the services’ respective libraries.
A hint as to what that might look like comes from Amazon, which says that it’s able to bring its forthcoming cloud gaming service Luna to iPhone by offering it as a web app. In an interview with Engadget, Luna engineering and technology head George Tsipolitis said that Amazon worked with Apple to make that functionality possible. Google, meanwhile, makes its similar Stadia service available on PCs and Macs via its Chrome web browser, though it too is not available on iPhone or iPad.
Apple indicated that Game Pass or Stadia would be allowed to offer game streaming services, only if each individual title in the catalog were available in its own discrete app.