(Pocket-lint) - Cloud gaming's causing a bit of a storm where Apple's concerned at the moment, in case you've missed the whole story. The absence of apps like Google Stadia and Project xCloud from iOS has been fleshed out by some more context.
Principally, Apple's not okay with these services' ability to add new games to their rosters that wouldn't go through Apple's approval processes, so it's blocking them from its platform, causing no end of ire on Google and Microsoft's sides.
All this has been heightened by Apple's high-profile spat with Epic Games over payment methods within games, and we all know what's happened as a result - Fortnite's off the App Store.
A new patent publication from Apple, though, spotted by the team at Patently Apple, arguable thickens the plot even further, where Apple's gaming plans are concerned.
Titled "Enabling Interactive Service for Cloud Rendering Gaming in 5G Systems", it's effetictively a sketched blueprint for how Apple could use 5G networking to power its own cloud gaming service.
To be clear, Apple files a lot of patents and many of them come to nothing, but this would seem to indicate that it's at least working out how such a service would operate on its devices.
Equally, now probably wouldn't be the time to come out singing and dancing about a new proprietary cloud gaming service, if it wants to win over hearts and minds on the anti-competition front.
Plus, with Apple Arcade somewhat sliding away from the frontline of relevance, it might need to get that service in order before it can turn to more ambitious plans.