When LG launched the second screen case for the LG V50 ThinQ nearly three years ago, one of its announced use cases was the use of one of the two screens (usually the heavier main screen) as a dedicated gaming console. This was actually an idea pushed by the first ASUS ROG Phone and TwinView Dock, but, like LG’s app, it required a separate accessory to function. With a second screen integrated, Surface Duo is nearly perfect for this scenario, and after nearly two years, it finally comes through the Xbox Game Pass app, also known as xCloud game streaming.
There may still be some controversy among mobile gamers about the physical and virtual buttons, but even those who prefer the latter will admit that there is one important flaw. While the touchscreen controls mean you won’t have to buy and carry a separate tool, it also means that your thumb will always cover a portion of the screen at all times. Microsoft bothered with the solution when it first unveiled the Surface Duo, but it’s only now that the first visual signs of this feature have appeared.
The latest beta version of the Xbox Game Pass app, the app used to stream games to supported Android phones, has brought support for dual-screen devices just like the Surface Duo. This turns the lower screen, depending on how you hold it, into a space reserved for touch screen controls, leaving the top screen unobstructed. Of course, this requires the Xbox game itself to support touchscreen controls, and given what Xbox cloud broadcasting is meant for, some of those luckily do so.
This almost makes the Surface Duo “Xbox portable” the ideal, at least for those who don’t mind the use of on-screen controls in place of the game console more popular for Xbox owners. Windows Central says Developers can create their own layouts to better fit their game and some titles may support mobile motion sensors as an additional input. The old processor of the device won’t be even the bottleneck here since all the heavy processing takes place remotely.
Of course, the obstacle will be the data connection, which has been restricted to 4G LTE on the Surface Duo. This feature, fortunately, is still in beta and there may be time to prepare for the launch of Surface Duo 2 with 5G technology.