Most gamers don’t really think about a web browser as part of their gaming setup. Heck, most gamers don’t even use a browser for gaming. Microsoft is looking to change that though by making its Edge browser the go-to choice for gamers. Yes, it sounds kind of weird, but Microsoft announced today it’s added a lot of new gaming features to its browser. We know, just stick with us here. Also, if you’re an Edge user who doesn’t care about browser gaming, Microsoft has added a new performance-boosting feature for PC games as well.
The addition of the new gaming features were announced in the company’s latest blog post. It’s part of Microsoft being “all in” on gaming, despite what you might have heard. Microsoft says it’s focusing on a 20-year roadmap to deliver the best gaming experience possible, on any platform, meaning PC, Xbox, phone, and tablet. Today, it’s starting with Edge.
Microsoft has added a new gaming-centric homepage to the browser. The gist is as soon as you launch your browser, you’re shown all your games so you start gaming immediately. This also includes gaming news and info, guides, livestreams, and so forth. You can also customize what’s shown on this page as well. If you’re logged into your Xbox account, you can have access to your Xbox Cloud Gaming library too. If you are an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member, you can launch streaming games right from the homepage.
Once you’re actually streaming a game via your browser, you can benefit from this next new feature. It’s called Clarity Boost and it does exactly what it says. According to Microsoft, it’s a “spatial upscaling enhancement that makes streaming games look clearer and sharper while playing in Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 and 11.” The blog says it uses client-side scaling to improve the quality of the video stream. Microsoft didn’t get into any nerdy details on what it’s doing here. Still, the sample it posted shows a clear improvement in image quality. As a way to tempt people to try it out, it’s offering people the chance to play Fortnite without any subscription required. To enable or disable Clarity Boost, you just click the (…) in the left-hand corner of the game.
For those of you who play on PC with locally installed games, there’s something for you too. Microsoft has added a new power-saving feature to Edge for PC gamers. It essentially puts Edge into snooze mode when it detects a game being started. This prevents the browser from using precious resources while you’re gaming. When you quit the game, the feature detects it and automatically shuts it off. This works in both Windows 10 and 11, using Edge. To enable it just go to the Settings tab, then System and Performance.
Finally, Microsoft has also added a bunch of free-to-play casual and arcade games (top). When you select “games” from the dropdown under the (…) in the browser they appear on the right-side. It features a roster of old and new games that open right in the browser. Some of the titles include Microsoft Jewel, Microsoft Mahjong and Microsoft Edge Surf. Personally, we clicked on Solitaire just because we’re old school, and we were reminded of how much fun it is, deadlines be damned.
All of these features are available now. Just update Edge and you’ll see them. For us, after we updated we were using version 103.0.1264.37 (Official build) (64-bit).