Surface Duo, the folding two-screened Android device from Microsoft, can now do a pretty darn good Nintendo DS impression.
Microsoft first released Surface Duo last year after announcing it back in 2019. One of the first things it teased in its announcement trailer was the possibility of playing games with the top screen folded toward you to show the game and the bottom screen angled to display just the touch controls. It looked like a DS or 3DS, just without the physical controls on the lower half. Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay revealed on his Twitter account that a new update for the device now lets it play Xbox Game Pass Ultimate streaming games just like in the video.
A very cool update goes live for #SurfaceDuo customers today! Working with @Xbox we've put touch controls on to the second screen. More than 50 games are available to play with touch for @xboxGamePass Ultimate Members. pic.twitter.com/ZPIqQZXxS4May 24, 2021
This doesn't quite mean Microsoft is giving Surface Duo owners an all-new way to play their Game Pass games - it only works with the selection of titles that already support touch controls, but that growing list already includes Sea of Thieves and Minecraft Dungeons among others. Even if it makes for the same basic control setup, this one does have the big benefit of letting you see all of your game instead of covering it up with on-screen controls (and your thumbs).
Unlike Nintendo and Sony, Microsoft has never put out any dedicated gaming handheld consoles. This may be as close as we'll ever get to an Xbox Series DS.
If you're on the fence about starting your new streaming life, make sure you check out our guide to the best Xbox cloud gaming games.