Microsoft Edge browser for Xbox Series X and S opens up new cloud gaming possibilities
Microsoft’s new consoles, the Xbox Series X and Series S, are excellent gaming machines on their own. The Series X is capable of 4K gaming, while the smaller Series S lets you enjoy next-gen titles at 1440p at a relatively cheaper package. But there is now a way to go beyond the list of Xbox games offered by Microsoft, thanks to cloud gaming.
Recently, Microsoft was reported to be publicly testing the new Chromium-based Edge browser on the Xbox consoles. If you are an Xbox tester and part of the Alpha Skip-Ahead group, you can access Microsoft Edge on the Xbox Series X|S consoles as well as the older Xbox One consoles. The only issue is that there isn’t full mouse and keyboard support yet, so you need to rely on the Xbox controller. While this opens up users’ ability to visit websites, run browser-based games, and even certain services like video calling that can run on a browser. It is also a big step for running game streaming services right onto the console. As per The Verge, Edge should offer access to Google’s Stadia streaming service with the support of improved compatibility with Chromium.
According to a Reddit post on the Stadia subforums, Google Stadia does, in fact, run ‘perfectly’ on an Xbox Series S via the Edge browser. According to some of the comments on the post, there are limitations to this. For instance, you cannot pull up the Stadia UI if you are playing a game. So if you want to exit the game, the only way to do that is restarting the Edge browser.
Additionally, a video posted by Joe Chip shows that the Edge browser on Xbox can also support GeForce Now cloud gaming service. This means that it is possible to play Steam games on the Xbox without a PC. In his video, Chip explains that you need to login to your NVIDIA GeForce Now account and your Steam account to get access to the games. The service does not run flawlessly as some games do not load, while others need a keyboard and mouse for proper gameplay. He does, however, manage to run Wreckfest and use the Xbox controller to play the game. According to him, the game looks good, along with a decent response. Notably, the ability to stream games does not depend on the hardware of the console itself, as the game essentially runs on a server and then streamed via a supported browser.
While it is an early stage, the possibility of streaming games via cloud services on a gaming console like the Xbox should soon be a reality. Most of the issues should be ironed out once Edge browser offers support for a keyboard and mouse in a future stable update.