Clarity Boost is Coming to Xbox Cloud Gaming on Microsoft Edge

Posted on November 30, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Project xCloud, Xbox with 15 Comments

Microsoft will bring an Xbox Cloud Gaming feature called Clarity Boost to its Microsoft Edge web browser in the coming months.

“Xbox Cloud Gaming has partnered with Microsoft Edge to create an improved experience with optimizations available exclusively in the Microsoft Edge browser, providing the optimal look and feel while playing Xbox games from the cloud,” Microsoft’s Milena Gonzalez writes in the announcement post. “This feature uses a set of client-side scaling improvements to improve the visual quality of the video stream.”

If you’re not troubled by the term “available exclusively,” you should be: while Microsoft has brought many of Edge’s advancements to the Chromium core on which it is based, and thus to other Chromium-based browsers like Chrome, Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi, this feature is designed to lock Windows users into Microsoft’s ecosystem. It will only be made available in Edge.

Those interested in testing Clarity Boost today can find it in the latest Canary builds of the web browser: Just browse to the Xbox Cloud Gaming website, open the More Actions (“…”) menu and enable the option “Enable Clarity Boost.”

That said, it’s not clear whether this will provide a better visual experience than when playing games in the Xbox app on Windows 10 or 11.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Clarity Boost is Coming to Xbox Cloud Gaming on Microsoft Edge”

  1. hellcatm

    I don't see the big deal of exclusivity for Clarity boost. People who don't want to use Edge for everyday browsing can just use Edge for Xbox Cloud Gaming and their browser of choice for everything else.

    • christianwilson

      I agree it isn't a big hassle for Windows users, but this does leave other platforms out in the cold.

      • ringofvoid

        Does this not work on Edge for MacOs & Linux? I've got Edge Canary on my Chromebook's Linux container and was hoping this might work there

        • christianwilson

          Memory lapse. I forgot Edge was on macOS and Linux. Good catch. I would expect Clarity Boost would work on those OSes, then.

      • Donte

        I used Edge as the primary browser on both of my Mac's.

        All that said I still think overall that LAG is the issue. I have tried this in different 1gig circuits (ATT and Charter) and the LAG just kills it. At times its "OK" and at other times it ruins your game. Try driving with Forza...and then you try to lags out and crashes the car because your turn did not get to the cloud in time.

        • christianwilson

          Xbox Cloud Gaming has worked well for me on Xbox One, Windows 11 Xbox app (not 10), but has been awful everywhere else (Edge, Windows 10 Xbox app, iOS, iPadOS).

          It's improving, but I agree it is not as reliable as the other streaming services yet.

          • vladimir

            In my opinion cloud gaming needs a dedicated controller that connects directly to the cloud, as stadia and Luna have. Without that I doubt it’s possible to significantly reduce the lag

    • egab

      I agree. It's just a nice feature to offer, and I find it a much better way to introduce people to Edge vs what they're doing now with Windows 11 and the default browser behaviour. It's also OK to make it a Windows feature.

    • omen_20

      Agreed. I use Edge to make PWAs of apps like xCloud, YouTube, YTM, etc. I use Vivaldi for actual browsing.

  2. rm

    For niche features, I don't mind MS only making it available on Edge. How much are the other browsers contributing to Chrome? (I don't know, because I never hear anything about them doing so). MS doesn't put Collections in the Open Source either, but that is also a way to differentiate your browser from others.

    I don't mind about having built in features in Windows 11 requiring Edge either. You still cannot make a public web site for a single browser today. So, that should make the features better with less coding and testing for MS.

    However, I draw the line where MS is making it hard to have a different browser be the default browser. That has to stop.

  3. zakand

    Yet another antitrust issue?

    • lvthunder

      Nope. There is nothing that says you can't add new features to your product and not give it to your competitiors.

  4. jgraebner

    Am I the only one that can't see any difference whatsoever between the "with" and "without" photos?

    • igor engelen

      Reading the article on my iPad. In the right picture there's more detail/sharpness around the highlighted part of the cheek. Also towards the eyebrow and near the beard.

      Not something I'd spot in the middle of some action in my opinion.

    • christianwilson

      I notice a difference, but it isn't a drastic change. It's a welcome improvement but I don't expect to see it in motion.