An update to the Xbox Game Pass beta app has added support for dual-screen devices, one of which is (as you may have guessed) Microsoft’s Surface Duo. It’s almost like turning your device into a Nintendo DS for Xbox games.
The update was first highlighted by The Verge’s Tom Warren, who demonstrates what the update looks like running on Microsoft’s dual-screen Android smartphone. On one screen you have the game and on the other are touchscreen controls. There are approximately 20 games designed to support touch input, including Minecraft Dungeons and Dead Cells.
here’s xCloud running on Microsoft’s Surface Duo across both screens. You can now get touch controls on the other screen with the latest Xbox Game Pass beta app pic.twitter.com/6AA0UHo1or
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) March 18, 2021
The touch controls adapt depending on what game you’re playing, so every game will feel a little bit different.
As far as mobile touchscreen gaming is concerned, this update feels like a good fit for Xbox Game Pass. Mobile gaming has always felt a little weird because controls are overlaid on the display. Thanks to Surface Duo’s dual-screen design, you get an experience that makes a lot more sense. It’s almost like the portable Xbox gaming console we never had.
The update to Xbox Game Pass makes the Surface Duo a lot more interesting. When we reviewed the device, we praised its multitasking capabilities. But it felt very niche.
“The Surface Duo is meant for a very specific group of people. It’s meant for Android users who use the Microsoft 365 suite regularly,” Max Weinbach said in XDA’s review. “To be honest, that probably isn’t you and I. It’s going to be the people on Wall Street, or maybe even students. It’s going to be those who can really make use of the dual-screen in a way that isn’t shallow.”
With dual-screen support now available to test in the Xbox Game Pass beta app, hopefully we’ll see a stable release sooner rather than later.
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