Xbox Game Pass Update Turns Surface Duo Into Handheld Xbox System

Xbox Game Pass Update Turns Surface Duo Into Handheld Xbox System


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They’ve only gone and done it, the absolute mad-lads. That’s what excited Xbox gamers and Surface Duo-owners worldwide are exclaiming as an update to Xbox Game Pass turns Microsoft’s dual-screen Android-powered smartphone into a handheld Xbox that fits (just) into your pocket.

Support for the Surface Duo has been in the pipeline for a while, with beta testing taking place throughout the past few months.

The update allows Surface Duo owners with an Xbox Game Pass and the Xbox Cloud Gaming app to effectively turn their dual-screen device into a portable Xbox, similar in style to the much-loved Nintendo 3DS and certainly not looking like a smartphone.

Who Doesn’t Want a Portable Xbox Console in Their Pocket?

The introduction of full Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming support on the Surface Duo means that gamers can now play over 50 games. The update brings specific touch control support to more than 50 titles, turning one of the Duo’s screens into a game controller touchpad, while the opposite side becomes the display.

Related: Forget the 3DS: The Xbox Game Pass Arrives on the Surface Duo

There are heaps of great titles with touch-control support, including Desperados 3, Gears 5, Minecraft Dungeons, Sea of Thieves, Wreckfest, and Yooka-Laylee: The Impossible Lair. Expect more games to arrive soon as more developers get to grip with the Surface Duo’s layout and other features.

Rolling out Xbox Cloud Gaming and full touch-control support for the Surface Duo is a great move. The form-factor of the Surface Duo makes it fairly unique amongst current devices, the folding screen creating a perfect handheld gaming device, and the 3:2 aspect ratio works well for most games.

One of the biggest issues for any smartphone-cum-gaming device is fingers blocking the screen (it makes some games unplayable), and the Surface Duo resolves this issue nicely.

Furthermore, if the touchscreen controls aren’t your cup of tea, you can always pair a Bluetooth game controller with the Surface Duo and dive into your favorite games without worrying about smudging your screen.

Related: What You Need to Join the Xbox Cloud Gaming Beta

Surface Duo Xbox Cloud Gaming Support Is Here

The Xbox Cloud Gaming app receives some Surface Duo-based updates, too. Microsoft has pushed out upgrades to the content viewing process, menu structures and views, making better use of the Surface Duo’s integrated column layouts.

While the Surface Duo is a niche product—there’s no escaping that fact—foldable and dual-screen smartphones and other devices will become more popular once the price drops to accommodate so-called "late majority tech adopters." Until that time, those with a Surface Duo can revel in their portable Xbox handheld, taking their favorite games wherever they go.

Tech

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May 24, 2021 at 09:44AM

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