Microsoft is testing the use of the Xbox app on smartphones without a controller

The company is experimenting with a new feature in the Xbox app for smartphones, involving the use of a digital interface with control buttons on the phone screen, without the need for an external Bluetooth-enabled controller.

According to a report published in The Verge, the trial update to the smartphone screen allows it to transform into a controller when using the app interface and enjoying games, making the user experience closely resemble the Microsoft Cloud Gaming app interface.

According to the report, all games available on the Xbox app will support the use of the new digital control interface.

This marks a significant development compared to the previous announcement made by Microsoft in 2022, where it stated that only 20% of games available on the Microsoft Cloud Gaming platform supported playing using a digital interface.

It’s worth mentioning that Microsoft has been paying significant attention to the idea of digital control interfaces for many years, with the company focusing on adding virtual control interfaces for a large number of games on the Xbox platform. However, the new approach is to adopt a unified digital control interface that is compatible with all games.

Microsoft now faces a unique opportunity to expand its presence in the smartphone and tablet gaming market, especially after Apple’s decision to open its App Store to cloud gaming services, allowing services like NVIDIA’s GeForce Now and Microsoft‘s Cloud Gaming to operate officially on iPhone devices.

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