Microsoft is turning its dual-screen Surface Duo into a much better handheld device for Xbox Cloud gaming. Indeed, Microsoft has updated its Xbox Game Pass app for Android to improve support for custom touch controls on dual screen devices, with Surface Duo owners now being able to use one of the screens as a controller.
These improved dual-screen controls for cloud-enabled Xbox games have been available in the Xbox Game Pass Beta app for Android since March, but they’re now generally available for owners of dual-screen devices.. Microsoft’s Chief Hardware Officer Panos Panay himself announced the news on Twitter earlier today, highlighting that over 50 cloud-enabled games currently support touch controls.
A very cool update goes live for #SurfaceDuo customers today! Working with @Xbox we've put touch controls on to the second screen. More than 50 games are available to play with touch for @xboxGamePass Ultimate Members. pic.twitter.com/ZPIqQZXxS4
— Panos Panay (@panos_panay) May 24, 2021
Touch controls are probably not as precise and convenient as an Xbox controller, though Microsoft now allows developers to create custom touch controls for every cloud-enabled Xbox game. This can really help to make console games feel more “native” on mobile devices, and the Surface Duo’s dual-screen form factor probably makes it one of the best handheld devices for playing Xbox games.
If you own a Surface Duo and want to try playing Xbox games on it, you’ll need to sign up for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to get access to a growing catalog of cloud-enabled games. Not all of them support touch controls yet, but games like Minecraft Dungeons, Sea of Thieves, Gears 5, Slay the Spire, and many more already do.