Microsoft brings Xbox Game Pass dual-screen support to Android devices — this could be a literal game-changer

Microsoft Surface Duo Xbox Game Pass
(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft's Surface Duo had the potential to become one of the best smartphones for gaming, with its dual-screen feature allowing users to span the Xbox Game Pass app across both displays. However, when tested, we found the Duo's divider got in the way. Fortunately, Microsoft may now have found a better way to utilize the feature.

Microsoft released an update on its Xbox Game Pass Beta app that supports dual-screen functionality, turning Android devices such as the Surface Duo into a portable Xbox console. Now there's a whole screen for dedicated touchscreen controls. 

As seen on Windows Central, the beta app allows Xbox Game Pass games with dedicated touch controls to make better use of Android devices with dual screens, with the Surface Duo being the perfect test candidate.

If properly rolled out onto the main app, this means games can be displayed on the top screen, while a full set of controls can be used on the bottom, instead of having touch controls overlaying gameplay. With this method, developers will have a lot more room to customize touch controls for their games.

Games on the Xbox Game Pass app that use touch control support include Gears 5, Streets of Rage 4, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Minecraft Dungeons, Dead Cells, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and plenty more.

Some games, such as Gears 5, also support motion controls, which work hand-in-hand with the Surface Duo's gyro. With a full-on screen as your gamepad, maybe you won't need to bring an Xbox Controller when gaming on-the-go.

With a Surface Duo 2 rumoured to be coming out this year, Microsoft could be paving the way for a more gaming-centric dual-screen device. That is, if the dual-screen support officially comes out. Essentially, we'd be getting an Xbox DS, and we certainly wouldn't turn our noses up at that. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.