Xbox and Backbone join forces to bring Cloud Gaming and Game Pass to iPhone

Xbox Cloud Gaming
(Image credit: Laptop mag)

As Xbox Cloud Gaming for iPhone hits open beta, the Backbone One controller has joined the Designed for Xbox family, to give players a great way to play on the go.

Reading our Backbone One review, you can see we’re big fans of the controller, which essentially turns your iPhone into a Nintendo Switch look-alike. With this official partnership with Xbox, the functionality has been greatly expanded upon.

Backbone + Xbox: What’s new?

(Image credit: Backbone)

The benefits will be immediate for both seasoned Backbone veterans and newcomers alike. 

Xbox integration is tightly wound into the Backbone experience, from the inclusion of a Game Pass feed in the UI to support for capturing and tagging Xbox Cloud Gaming footage, and sharing it as a link for people to watch. 

This will all be made available as a big update to Backbone’s app, so expect an update on our review of the Backbone One soon.

For newbies, any new purchases of a Backbone One come with three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

(Image credit: Backbone)

Backbone + Xbox: Does this affect anything else?

One of the things we loved about the Backbone One was the integration of multiple gaming services across the biggest players in the market. 

You didn’t have to choose between PlayStation remote play or Xbox, you just got them both. But now they are in Microsoft’s corner, does this impact compatibility with games and services outside of the Xbox ecosystem?

When I asked, Backbone confirmed this won’t affect compatibility and the One controller will continue to work with any game or service on the iPhone including “PS Remote Play, Xbox Game Pass and Apple Arcade.”

Jason England
Content Editor

Jason brought a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag, and he is now the Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.