Playing GoldenEye through Xbox Cloud on iPad is great - but playing alone sucks
Shaken, but not stirred
Since GoldenEye was made available to Xbox Game Pass and Nintendo Switch on January 25, I've been playing it on my iPad Pro, thanks to Xbox Cloud being accessible through Safari. But there's something missing from my GoldenEye experience that Rare's other title Perfect Dark has...
When it comes to cloud performance, going from the Dam to the Cradle levels on Agent difficulty on Apple's tablet, alongside using an 8BitDo Pro 2 controller, the lag was surprisingly lower than my other experiences using Microsoft's service for Fortnite and Halo 2. In fact, it's constantly been a 'pinch-me' moment that we're in an age where GoldenEye, a game I never thought would be re-released, can be loaded up on a tablet with an internet connection.
Yet this is also a classic situation of 'be careful what you wish for', as there's no online multiplayer even though it's perfectly possible to do this in Rare's other first-person shooter, Perfect Dark.
For iPad, James?
As I also own a Nintendo Switch and its Online service, I've been switching between both systems to play GoldenEye, so I'm using Xbox Cloud on iPad for single-player, and multiplayer, both online and offline with friends, on the Switch.
While it's an awkward setup, it still works, simply because it's GoldenEye, and playing the Facility map has never gotten old.
On iPad, I love the fact that I can connect to a random WiFi network, or even through 4G, and carry on my single-player save from wherever I may be. And yet it's tempered somewhat by not having online multiplayer.
While Rare's other games are also on the Cloud service, I was under the impression that online multiplayer was impossible to use in its older games like Perfect Dark. But as I loaded it up, it works as intended, but it's far slower compared to playing single-player, and the lag does make the experience suffer. But even still, it shows that it's possible, and Microsoft should look into making this better, in a world of 5G and faster WiFi constantly being rolled out.
I'm also a subscriber to GeForce NOW, another streaming service where you can play some games that you own on Steam, GOG, and Epic Games, through a PC that I can access on my Mac, LG TV, iPad, and other devices. Playing Fortnite through this service is impressive, as the latency is next to nothing, especially as it's an on-demand multiplayer game.
So in theory, it's possible for Microsoft to reduce the latency on Xbox Cloud, but it's unclear if the company is working to improve this.
Whatever the issue, with online multiplayer in GoldenEye being possible on the Nintendo Switch and an impossibility on Xbox, it's most likely down to an agreement between MGM, Bond's IP holders, Nintendo and Microsoft, and that's a shame.
But regardless of what the reasons are, it's still wild to me that GoldenEye is available to play on two devices that I can carry around with me, compared to taking out my Nintendo 64 and plugging it into my TV to play the game once more, and for that alone, it's still a great thing to appreciate in these modern times.
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Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.
Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider (opens in new tab)', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.