The Microsoft Surface Duo is now a proper portable Xbox console


When the Surface Duo debuted, some of the marketing and promotional material suggested that this would be the ultimate gaming smartphone with its dual screens. The top screen would act as your display, with the bottom screen acting as your controller. Even after Project xCloud left its “project” status and became integrated with the Xbox Game Pass app for Android, the optimization for using two separate screens just wasn’t there.

However, Microsoft has just changed all of that with its latest update to the Game Pass app for Android (via The Verge). Hidden at the bottom of the changelog, you’ll see the following:

• Days since new bugs found: 0
• We’re making more improvements to the app so it’s easier for you to discover and play your next favorite game!
• New filters like EA Play and genres make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
• We’ve updated and improved the experience on Surface Duo devices so you can fully enjoy Game Pass on both screens. Bonus screen!

This comes along with bug fixes and improvements “so it’s easier for you to discover and play your next favorite game!”. Microsoft also added new filters for finding EA Play games, along with some tweaks to the different genres so you can look for something new and exciting to play.

While we still prefer to use controllers like the Razer Kishi or 8Bitdo Pro 2, the true dual-screened nature of the Surface Duo could give you some Nintendo DS vibes. There are currently more than 60 titles that have been optimized for touch controls, and this includes the likes of Minecraft Dungeons, Gears of War 5, and even classics like Banjo-Kazooie.

Microsoft’s first foray into the world of Android has been quite a mixed bag of tricks, with many reviewers saying the same thing. The Surface Duo sports a gorgeous design fitting for a Microsoft Surface product, but the software side of things still has a lot of work to do. We’re barreling towards the launch of Android 12 this Fall, while the $1,400 Surface Duo is still hanging onto Android 10. What makes this worse is that we don’t know when or if Android 11 will even arrive.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the year plays out, as rumors suggest that Microsoft has been working on the Surface Duo 2. Hopefully, we’ll get true flagship specs, along with better cameras, and maybe the ability to throw a microSD card in for good measure. But if you own the current Surface Duo, you can head over to the Play Store and give Xbox Game Pass a whirl today.


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