Microsoft announces record Xbox Game Pass engagement, with Xbox Cloud Gaming coming to iOS and PC in Spring 2021

Laurent Giret

Cloud Gaming Project Xcloud

Microsoft launched Xbox Cloud Gaming on Android back in September, making over 150 Xbox Game Pass titles playable on Android devices for free with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. This morning, the software giant announced its plans to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to more devices next year, starting with PCs and iPhones and iPads via the web in Spring 2021.

“In Spring 2021, we will take the next step in our journey to reach more players around the world by making cloud gaming as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate available on Windows PCs through the Xbox app and browser, and iOS devices through mobile web browser,” said Jerret West, CVP, Microsoft Gaming. “By adding over a billion devices as a path to playing in the Xbox ecosystem, we envision a seamless experience for all types of players; whether it’s playing Minecraft Dungeons with your Xbox friends using touch controls on an iPhone, or jumping into a Destiny 2: Beyond Light strike on a Surface Pro when you have a break between meetings.

Microsoft recently announced that its Xbox Game Pass subscription service reached 15 million subscribers this year, and this number should continue to grow as Xbox Game Pass becomes available in more markets. Xbox cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is also coming soon to new markets including Australia, Brazil, Japan and Mexico, four countries where Microsoft recently launched the game streaming service in preview

While the company still isn’t detailing the amount of subscribers to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tier that includes Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Live Gold, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, there is some interesting new data about the service today. According to West, Xbox Game Pass monthly engagement “more than doubled” in November compared to 2019, and the boost is likely a result of the launch of the Xbox Series X and S Consoles on November 10.

Xbox Cloud Gaming infographic

Last month, Liz Hamren, CVP, Gaming Experiences & Platforms said that “70 percent of Series X|S consoles are attached to new and existing Xbox Game Pass members,” and getting more subscribers is now what Microsoft really cares about. Today, the company also shared the following details about Xbox Series X|S sales and overall engagement on Xbox consoles:

  • Over 1.6 million seamless upgrades delivered to Xbox Series X|S owners with Smart Delivery.
  • Over 40% of you joining Xbox for the first time are playing on Xbox Series S.
  • One of the fastest selling Xbox Series X|S markets out of 40+ launch regions, Europe saw record sellouts in a matter of hours across the UK, France and Germany.
  • During November, Xbox Game Pass members played more of their favorites, including, Destiny 2: Beyond Light, Rainbow Six: Siege, Tetris Effect Connected, and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order with EA Play on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

As Jerret West said today, the Xbox ecosystem will be available on over 1 billion new devices once Xbox Cloud Gaming launches on PCs and iOS next year. Xbox head Phil Spencer also recently said that he wants to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to Smart TVs, and Microsoft could even release its own Xbox streaming sticks if that can help to bring the Xbox ecosystem to more screens.

If the Redmond giant is done talking about console sales, the company has an aggressive strategy to reach as many gamers as possible on the devices they already own. It’s still early days for cloud gaming services, though the competition from Sony’s PlayStation Now, Google Stadia, and Amazon’s new Luna service should not be underestimated.