Two Tribes go to war2 minute read

It’s 2020, and Apple has as much control over areas of the gaming industry as the giants of the day.

Apple vs Microsoft

The year is 2020, the gaming market is heavily dominated by Nintendo’s Switch, Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s Playstation and…Apple?

Most people wouldn’t think of Apple as being part of the video game market – they have no standalone console, and merely have applications on their Apple App Store, but within the last week they have made a stand within the gaming market to show that they still consistently drive choices which ultimately impact the industry.

Within the last week Apple have made a couple of substantial decisions which will effect the gaming market.  Firstly they approved the deployment of the Facebook Gaming app.  This application was previously in a struggle whereby Facebook were trying for months to get it into the Apple App Store.  After making some adjustments to the application Apple have now accepted its inclusion.

Apple’s control

The other major decision that Apple made was the fact that they have now denied Microsoft’s xCloud application.  Microsoft’s xCloud is a clear rival to Google Stadia. It will be entwined with Microsoft Gold (rumoured to cease to exist after the release of the Series X) and Game Pass.  It is a new platform with the capabilities to stream Xbox titles from the cloud. This allows the user to play console-quality games across numerous devices. iOS devices will not be part of this group.

Even though Microsoft is a $1.6 trillion company, iOS still dominates the market as the world’s largest gaming platform. This is mostly due to the amount of users since the launch of Apple Arcade.  Apple have stated that Microsoft would need to individually deploy games to their platform, so that each title can be reviewed. The xCloud format, similar to Stadia, is more operably similar to a browser that launches the chosen title.

Microsoft publicly called Apple out on this decision, perhaps in hope of Apple changing their mind, but when they have a $50 billion App Store revenue they may not be so bothered.  Xbox fans were outraged at this decision – with some stating they will switch to Android devices to play xCloud games.  Whatever the reaction I feel that neither company will lose out, but Apple may have ultimately lost some faith during the last week.

With the amount of streaming services being released since Google Stadia do Apple need to change their policies? Will they continue to make decisions that may ultimately change the face of the gaming markets future?

Whatever the outcome xCloud launches on Android devices exclusively on 15th September 2020. Hopefully it will expand to more platforms over time.

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