A first look at playing Steam PC games on Xbox with mouse and keyboard
Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser is coming to Xbox soon, and the company has now added all-important mouse and keyboard support that will pave the way to stream PC games to Xbox consoles. Xbox testers in the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring are now able to access this new version of Edge and try out a mouse in the console version of the browser for the first time. I’ve been testing this new support over the weekend, and I’ve even managed to play some Steam PC games on my Xbox.
Despite a few obvious bugs here and there — as this is very much an early beta browser — it works as expected. I’ve been able to write documents using Word online, type messages into Discord chats, and even play some Krunker or Quake JS through the browser with a mouse and keyboard. Basic mouse navigation, scrolling, and right-click all work here just fine.
Where things really get interesting is when you consider what this will mean for the future of streaming games to an Xbox through a browser. Currently, I can stream Google Stadia games and use mouse and keyboard on the Xbox, but I’ve also been able to successfully stream PC games from Steam to an Xbox through the browser.
I’ve played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Death Stranding, DOTA 2, and a bunch of other PC games that simply aren’t available on Xbox right now. I’ve been able to do this using Parsec, which is essentially a remote desktop app that lets you stream what’s on your PC to a browser.
It’s not the most ideal experience on the Xbox right now, as the virtual keyboard appears when you click, and latency / connectivity isn’t always the best, but it’s a good example of what’s possible with this new mouse and keyboard support. Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has already recently committed to bringing full PC games to the Xbox through the company’s Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) service.
We don’t know exactly when those PC games will arrive on xCloud, as right now, Microsoft is only currently publicly testing Xbox games via the browser using either a controller or touch controls.
This new Edge browser with full mouse and keyboard support simply opens up a lot of opportunities for the Xbox to access games that aren’t typically available on the console. That even includes accessing Sony’s PC ports like Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone, and more if you stream them to the browser.
For now, we’re waiting on Microsoft to finalize this Edge browser and make it available to all Xbox owners, and for services like Nvidia’s GeForce Now to stop blocking Edge so the dream of playing PC games on Xbox consoles is a step closer to reality.