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Microsoft transforms Surface Duo into a DS-style Xbox

The Surface Duo can now play Xbox games like a Nintendo DS

The Surface Duo was pitched as the next step in Microsoft’s handheld gaming experience. Two years on, it’s finally here.

Thanks to an update to the Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) app, the Duo is living up to its potential. The update primarily focuses on dual-screen support for the Surface Duo. As a result, it allows gamers to turn the Duo into a Nintendo DS-inspired handheld powerhouse.

The virtual gamepad dispenses with the need for controllers and is an incredibly streamlined experience. It will transport you back to the glory days of the Nintendo DS/3DS, only with less Mario.

Over 50 games have touch-screen capability. Before this update those controls were overlaid on top of the game you were trying to play. Thanks to this new feature, you no longer drag your thumbs across the action and can enjoy your games without interruption.

Gears 5, Sea of Thieves and Minecraft Dungeons are all supported by the update. Controllers will continue to be supported and Surface Duo doesn’t stop you from using them, it just offers a new way to play that might suit your commute that little bit more than getting out a controller on the bus.

The update also came with plenty of tweaks for the xCloud app designed to make it work better with the Surface Duo. It is now easier to move through menus and the app is now more organised. The Surface Duo could now represent the future of gaming on mobile. But only if folding phones become more accepted than they currently are.

The updated version of xCloud is now available on the Google Play Store.