Facebook’s new mobile gaming service says no to iPhone


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Mobile game streaming means playing smartphone games will be nearly “instant,” Facebook says.

Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook is joining the game streaming world, taking on the likes of Sony, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Nvidia. All now offer ways for people to play visually complex console and PC games over the internet, using technology similar to how Netflix streams movies. While most companies are focused on the top-tier games like Take-Two’s action game Grand Theft Auto V or Ubisoft’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed Valhalla historical fiction title, Facebook says it’s going to focus on mobile games instead.

Facebook’s new service, which is part of its Facebook Gaming project, will offer people access to smartphone games like Gameloft’s Asphalt 9: Legends racing title without the need to download or install an app. Instead, Facebook said people can play these games on a computer through its Facebook Gaming website or through its Facebook app on devices powered by Google’s Android software.

While Facebook will make its technology available to computers and Android-powered phones, the company said Apple’s restrictions requiring, among other things, that cloud gaming providers submit each game to its review team mean the service won’t work with iPhones for now.

“While our iOS path is uncertain, one thing is clear. Apple treats games differently and continues to exert control over a very precious resource,” Jason Rubin, vice president of play at Facebook, wrote in a blog post Monday announcing the service.

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