Microsoft update puts Xbox-like controls on Surface Duo's second screen
Microsoft has announced an update to its Xbox Games Pass cloud gaming platform for Android that turns one of the Surface Duo's dual screens into a virtual touch controller while the other displays the game.
Among the use scenarios showcased by Microsoft ahead of the Surface Duo's release were checking emails on one screen while watching a movie on the other, scrolling through a presentation while also on a video call, and using the second screen as a touch keyboard, laptop-style. Another was as a mobile gaming device, using a supported Bluetooth controller to play Xbox Game Pass titles.
Recently, more than 50 games on the cloud gaming platform have been made touch compatible, including Jetpac Refuelled, Stranger Things 3: The Game, Minecraft Dungeons, Gears 5, and Star Renegades. Now the company's Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, has taken to Twitter to announce that Ultimate members can play these touch-supported titles using the Duo's second screen as an Xbox-like controller - essentially turning the hinged-screen Android phone into a handheld Xbox.
Users will need to orient the device like a clamshell laptop, where the upper screen shows the game while the lower display area is transformed into an Xbox-mapped controller – meaning that thumbs don't mask any onscreen action and potentially interfere with gameplay. Players who prefer the feel of physical buttons and triggers, can of course still use a supported wireless controller with the Surface Duo.