Apple eases App Store restrictions to allow game-streaming apps


Apple eases App Store restrictions to allow game-streaming apps | Digital Trends

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Apple

Apple is easing up on its App Store guidelines so that it’s now possible to “provide access to mini apps and games” within other apps.

While that may sound a bit confusing, it essentially means that a company like Microsoft can now release an iOS Xbox Game Pass app that supports Xbox Cloud Gaming and lets players stream multiple games right from that app. To use Xbox Cloud Gaming on an Apple device right now, you’d need to use the web browser version of the technology, which isn’t as convenient or stable as streaming from Xbox consoles or official PC and Android apps.

Before today, Apple had resisted allowing iOS apps to do this, much to the chagrin of companies like Epic Games and Microsoft. Apple says this change will also benefit in-app chatbots or plug-ins outside of gaming, which iOS previously didn’t allow, and that it made this change based on feedback from app developers.

Companies will now also be able to use Apple’s In-App Purchase system within these newly allowed in-app minigames, apps, and features, with Apple providing the example of a subscription to an individual chatbot within a broader app. All apps will still need to follow the App Store Review Guidelines, and they will get an age rating that matches the highest age-rated content available within the app.

These new rules apply to the app store starting today, so keep an eye on game-streaming services, as they may be getting native iOS apps in the future following this rule shift.

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Tomas Franzese

Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…

Every summer 2023 gaming showcase: full schedule of live streams

Detective Pikachu and a Slowpoke wearing a cowboy hat.

Summer is one of the most exciting times to be a gamer, as it’s when most video game developers and publishers tease what’s coming next. For years, this was all centered around E3, but since that show went away during the COVID-19 pandemic, publishers have switched things up and held a variety of reveal-focused live-stream events throughout the entire season. This year has been no different, especially with E3 2023 is canceled.

On May 24, Sony kicked things off with a PlayStation Showcase that revealed games like a Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater remake and that Bungie is reviving the Marathon series. In June, though, the number of showcases ramped up. Now, things are winding down with new Tokyo Game Show-related events, as well as a second Nintendo Direct. It can be a lot to keep track of, but we’re here to help. This is every important, announcement-filled video game live stream that has taken place throughout summer 2023.
PlayStation Showcase: May 24


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PlayStation Portal misunderstands remote play and cloud gaming’s appeal

A PlayStation Portal boots up.

Sony finally revealed more details about its upcoming handheld, now called PlayStation Portal, but these announcements have soured my opinion on the device rather than hyped me up for it. I enjoy cloud gaming and have used a variety of services like Google Stadia, Amazon Luna, and Xbox Cloud Gaming – across my phone and even dedicated devices like the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld. Because of that, I was really excited to see what PlayStation could do as it entered the space. Unfortunately, some specific exclusions from PlayStation Portal’s functionality that make it more of a remote-play device rather than a cloud gaming handheld indicate that Sony has a fundamental misunderstanding about what people would want out of a PlayStation game streaming handheld.

Namely, the device’s positioning as primarily a “remote play dedicated device” and the exclusion of PlayStation Plus Premium cloud gaming compatibility drastically shrinks the number of reasons people should pick the device up. Cloud gaming and devices built around it have been around long enough to show that an inclusive approach to the number of services, games, and kinds of game streaming available is vital to success, and for a $200 handheld, PlayStation Portal seems like it’s excluding way too much.
Narrowing its appeal
Remote play differs from what’s more ubiquitously referred to as cloud gaming players are running the games on their own consoles rather than a third-party console or server. Still, it’s a form of streaming games over a Wi-Fi connection, typically through an app on a phone or device like the Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld. That means you’ll have to stick around your own home to use the PlayStation Portal, and its game library is limited to whatever the user owns on the console. That’s limiting (it’s like if Steam Deck only ran Steam Link) but does have some use cases. Still, it doesn’t necessarily feel like it warrants a dedicated $200 device over a phone and a nice mobile controller like the Razer Kishi V2 or Backbone One – PlayStation Edition; haptic feedback and adaptive triggers only go so far.


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Microsoft gives Activision Blizzard cloud gaming rights to Ubisoft

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Microsoft announced its intention to grant Ubisoft, the publisher behind series like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, the cloud streaming rights for Activision Blizzard titles if Microsoft’s acquisition of the Call of Duty publisher goes through.
This deal was made in order to appease the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Microsoft has not had an easy time trying to acquire Activision Blizzard as it has run into heavy resistance from regulatory bodies like the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.K.’s CMA. The CMA’s complaints centered around the potential monopoly Microsoft could have on cloud gaming if the deal were to go through. There was speculation that Microsoft would divest its U.K. cloud gaming efforts to appease the CMA, but it has now presented this new plan that would technically make it give up control of Activision Blizzard game-streaming rights worldwide for the next 15 years.
In a blog post, Microsoft President Brad Smith explainsed that if the Activision Blizzard acquisition happens, Microsoft will give “cloud streaming rights for all current and new Activision Blizzard PC and console games released over the next 15 years” in perpetuity following a one-off payment.
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Ubisoft has been cloud gaming friendly over the past several years, eagerly putting its games on services like Google Stadia and Amazon Luna. With this deal, Ubisoft says it plans to bring Activision Blizzard games to its Ubisoft+ subscription service. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick also commented on the deal, saying that he approves of the deal, but that “nothing substantially changes with the addition of this divestiture” for Activision Blizzard and its investors.
The current deadline for Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition is October 18.


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