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Xbox Game Pass adds bottom screen touch controls on Surface Duo

Xbox Game Pass adds bottom screen touch controls on Surface Duo

If Xbox Game Pass wasn’t already a sweet enough deal, Microsoft’s latest update to the mobile side of the service could make streaming games to a phone way better than before. At least, on one phone, anyway.

On Monday, the mobile version of Game Pass is getting what Microsoft calls “custom spanned touch controls” specifically on the Surface Duo phone the company released last year. In plainer terms, Game Pass games with touch controls can display a custom, developer-made controller layout on the bottom screen and the game itself on the top screen of this dual-display phone. That means you’ll be able to play something like Gears 5 without a controller, but also without your thumbs blocking any part of the screen.

It’s a neat idea that only really makes sense on the Surface Duo, considering the device’s unique form factor. Microsoft has also been beta testing it for a few months. You probably won’t see it on many other phones, unless dual-screen phones suddenly explode in popularity. But for those who have splurged on the $1,000 Surface Duo and pay the $15 monthly fee for Game Pass Ultimate, this is probably the best way to stream Xbox games to a mobile device with touch controls so far.

Just don’t throw the Surface Duo in frustration like you would an Xbox controller. It won’t be cheap to replace.

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