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Microsoft improves Xbox Cloud Gaming performance on the iPhone and iPad

Microsoft improves Xbox Cloud Gaming performance on the iPhone and iPad


There’s now less input latency and video optimizations

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Image: Microsoft

Microsoft says it has improved the performance of its Xbox Cloud Gaming service on the iPhone and iPad. The cloud game streaming service, formerly known as xCloud, first launched fully on iOS and iPadOS nearly a year ago, accessible from the Safari web browser. While the web browser version isn’t as fully featured as a dedicated app, Microsoft is now improving its performance for Apple’s mobile devices despite being unable to launch a standalone xCloud app.

Improvements include optimized video output on iOS devices and optimized network data transmission to speed up the responsiveness of Xbox Cloud Gaming. “You asked for a better iOS experience, and as a result, we have brought major performance improvements to all supported iPhone and iPad devices,” explains Nicole Hilbert, product manager at Xbox. “With these updates, you should have a smoother and more responsive gameplay experience.”

These improvements will reduce input latency

These “major performance improvements” should also reduce input latency overall, or the delay between you moving a thumbstick or pressing a button and that action appearing on-screen. Microsoft has been gradually improving Xbox Cloud Gaming over the past year, and the service is now powered fully by custom Xbox Series X hardware.

Microsoft moved to 1080p and 60fps streams for Xbox Cloud Gaming last year, but the company still doesn’t support 4K streaming like many of its rivals. Nvidia’s GeForce Now RTX 3080 tier has leapfrogged both Google Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming to deliver 4K HDR gaming at 60fps or 1440p at 120fps. It’s the best example of game streaming right now, particularly if you’re playing on mouse and keyboard and need the lowest latency possible.

Microsoft is currently working on a dedicated Xbox app for TVs that will allow Xbox players to stream games without a console. Standalone streaming devices that you can plug into a TV or monitor are also planned, and it’s likely that we’ll see the Xbox Cloud Gaming resolution increased once Microsoft is ready with its TV plans.