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Microsoft Revaluating its Approach towards Surface Duo App

Admit it, Nintendo fans: you just saw a $1400 Nintendo DS Pro when Microsoft unveiled its first official Android-powered smartphone. With the Xbox Game Pass’s newfound emphasis on streaming games, Microsoft is rethinking how it treats them on the Surface Duo. The new version of the Android app allows you to allocate all of the Duo’s controls to one screen in your hand, freeing up the second screen for gaming.

It’s one of those products that you’re shocked isn’t already in use. After all, Sony had this gaming on top, controls on the bottom thing down pat almost ten years ago with the Tablet P’s PlayStation emulator. The obvious benefit is that you can access all of the controls for any given game without them being overlaid on the game’s graphics. Still, this layout also transforms the Surface Duo’s entire bottom into a dedicated grip, allowing for much more comfortable gameplay in any case.

This behavior was previously only present in the beta version of the Game Pass app. Still, it’s now available in the stable version, which previously only allowed the app to run on one screen or extend the gameplay window horizontally between both. The control choices are limited to the 50+ Game Pass streaming games that support adaptive touch controls; all other games would still require the player to attach a gamepad.

Although these games make up a small portion of the Xbox Game Pass streaming library, they are some of the most common and lend themselves well to the dynamic shifting controls. Hopefully, Microsoft would soon extend this feature to devices with similar form factors, such as the Galaxy Fold. Meanwhile, the Duo is starting to look better, particularly now that it’s getting closer to a fair price.

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