Microsoft clearly has big plans for Xbox Game Pass. Some might even go as far as to say the subscription service is the centerpiece of Microsoft’s strategy for this console generation.
Now Microsoft is stepping up its plans to bring game streaming to mobile devices. The company is experimenting with bringing dual-screen support to the Xbox Game Pass app currently in beta.
The recently released update allows gamers to take advantage of the dual-screen functionality on devices like the Microsoft Surface Duo. Microsoft teased this possibility when the Surface Duo launched in 2019, but it is only now becoming a reality. When playing a game with dual-screen support, the game itself occupies the upper display with the controls occupying the lower screen. A few games, such as Gears 5, also support motion controls using the Surface Duo’s built-in Gyro. In that way, one could argue it is not dissimilar to using a Nintendo DS or some of the proposed designs for an Xbox gaming handheld.
Not every game on Game Pass will support dual-screen touch controls, although there is great potential for developers who choose to take advantage of the technology. Developers can customize the controller layout to best suit the particular game. This also means that different games may have wild differences in control schemes based on the developer’s preferences. Early tests are promising, according to those who have had the opportunity to use the service.
Some games that offer dual-screen support include Gears 5, Slay the Spire, Streets of Rage 4, Dead Cells, Minecraft Dungeons, and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. This is not a complete list, and there are likely already plans to add more games in the future.
Of course, that’s assuming dual-screen functionality proves popular with consumers, which is not necessarily a sure thing. The initiative is also partially dependent on dual-screen tablets and phones continuing to grow in popularity. If not, developers would lack an incentive to support the feature. After all, Microsoft’s technological gambles have not always paid off. The failures of Kinect and HD DVDs prove that.
Still, dual-screen support is not the only promising feature of the Xbox Game Pass app. Another feature of the beta is the ability to remotely download games to the user’s Xbox One, Series S, and Series X consoles. There is also the Cloud Gaming feature for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. It allows members to stream over one hundred Xbox titles directly to their Android devices.
Microsoft and Xbox have never been a force in mobile gaming. Still, Cloud Gaming with dual-screen support could be enough to change that. If nothing else, it makes Microsoft something to watch in the constantly evolving mobile market.
The Xbox Game Pass Android app is currently in open beta.
Source: Windows Central