Microsoft’s latest Chromium-based Edge browser is coming to Xbox shortly, and the company has now added crucial mouse and keyboard support, paving the way for PC games to be streamed to Xbox consoles. Xbox testers in the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring can now use this new version of Edge and for the first time use a mouse in the console version of the browser. I spent the weekend trying this new support, and I was even able to play some Steam PC games on my Xbox.
Despite a few apparent bugs here and there — this is a very early test browser, after all — it works as anticipated. I’ve been able to use a mouse and keyboard to write documents in Word online, type messages into Discord chats, and even play some Krunker or Quake JS via the window. Basic mouse navigation, scrolling, and right-clicking are all supported.
When you imagine what this means about the possibility of streaming games to an Xbox through a browser, things get very interesting. I can now stream Google Stadia games and use the Xbox’s mouse and keyboard, but I’ve also successfully streamed PC games from Steam to an Xbox using the browser.
I’ve enjoyed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Death Stranding, DOTA 2, and a variety of other PC games that aren’t currently available on Xbox. I was able to do this by using Parsec, which is basically a remote desktop programme that allows you to stream what’s on your computer to a browser.
It’s not the greatest Xbox experience right now, when the simulated keyboard appears as you press and lag / connectivity isn’t always optimal, but it’s a decent indication of what’s possible with this new mouse and keyboard help. Microsoft’s Xbox chief, Phil Spencer, has already stated his intention to add complete PC games to the Xbox through the company’s Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) service.
We don’t know when such PC games will be available on xCloud since Microsoft is currently only openly testing Xbox games via the browser using either a mouse or touch controls.
This new Edge browser, which includes full mouse and keyboard support, simply expands the Xbox’s ability to play games that aren’t normally available on the console. If you stream them to the browser, you can also run Sony’s PC ports like Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone, and others.
For the time being, we are waiting for Microsoft to complete this Edge browser and make it available to all Xbox users, as well as for utilities such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now to avoid blocking Edge, so that the dream of playing PC games on Xbox consoles will become a possibility.