Surface Duo and other dual-screen Android devices can now access Xbox Cloud Gaming touch controls on one screen and the game on the other.
“A very cool update goes live for Surface Duo customers today,” Microsoft’s Panos Panay tweeted of the update. “Working with Xbox, we’ve put touch controls on to the second screen. More than 50 games are available to play with touch for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members.”
Xbox is getting complicated, so don’t feel bad if none of that makes any sense. Here’s what’s happening: Microsoft’s Project xCloud game streaming platform has been branded as Xbox Cloud Gaming and made available only as a perk of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription tier, which costs $14.99 per month. Cloud Gaming lets you stream Xbox console games from Microsoft’s datacenters to your Android devices today and, soon, to PCs, web, and iPhone/iPad, and some of the games in the catalog support on-screen touch controls, which are useful, but obscure the game you’re playing to some degree as well.
But now, those with a Surface Duo—or other dual-screen or, I assume, folding screen device—can access touch control-compatible Xbox Cloud Gaming titles in a more efficient manner. That is, you can hold a Duo in clamshell mode, view the game on the top display, and use the touch controls via the bottom display.
Microsoft says that there are over 50 touch-enabled games now, including Sea of Thieves, Gears 5, Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, Slay the Spire, and many more. And it is also updating the Xbox Game Pass app on mobile to wider aspect ratios more effectively as well.