Microsoft is to launch its cloud gaming service on Apple devices and Windows PCs early next year.

The feature allows people signed up to its Xbox subscription to play certain games like Minecraft, Halo 5 and Star Wars Battlefront II - without using a physical console.

However it is currently only available on Xbox consoles and Android smartphones, with a planned app for iOS devices blocked by Apple earlier this year.

Microsoft now plans to make it possible for iPhone and iPad users to access the service through a web browser, circumventing its App Store restrictions.

The technology company said cloud gaming would be extended to iOS devices and Windows PCs in spring 2021.

It also said the subscription service itself, Game Pass Ultimate, would launch in a number of new countries; including Australia and Japan.

Microsoft last month launched its new console, which is available as two models - Series X and Series S.

It said that European sales were among the strongest in the world, with engagement on its subscription platform more than doubling on the back of the launch.