In parallel with the launch of its Surface Pro 9, Microsoft announced an interesting new feature last week that didn’t make as much noise: the arrival of the Xbox application on ARM devices… and with it, the cloud gaming.
The Xbox app is now available on ARM devices, and that’s good news // Source: Cassim Ketfi – Frandroid
Very slowly (too slowly, some would say), Microsoft is adding native ARM support to its main applications. After having done so for the Camera and Calculator applications, or even the PowerToys and Visual Studio tools, the Redmond giant in turn endows the Xbox application with this native support.
Announced discreetly, in parallel with the new Surface Pro 9, themselves available in Intel and ARM configurations, this novelty is important for users of devices based on the ARM architecture since it opens the doors wide to Xbox Cloud Gaming. (formerly “xCloud”).
Cloud Gaming natively on your new Surface Pro 9 ARM? It is now possible
The Xbox application only supported the x86 environment and offered no emulation, forcing ARM users until now to use a compatible browser (Edge or Firefox, mainly) to access cloud gaming. This hack is now ancient history.
As a reminder, the Xbox Cloud Gaming offers access to several dozen titles that can be played remotely. The principle is simple: the game launched is calculated by a Microsoft server and transmitted to your device via your internet connection. Included with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate offer, this solution therefore makes it possible to play demanding titles on practically any PC or tablet since the calculation is not done locally.
Presented last week, the new Surface Pro 9 is available in Intel x86 and ARM versions // Source: Microsoft
Adding native ARM support to the Xbox app is part of Microsoft’s strategy anyway. Lagging behind Apple, which hit hard by migrating on a large scale to the ARM environment, Microsoft is trying to catch up five years after the launch of the first “Always connected” PCs based on ARM processors from Qualcomm. Machines often criticized for the lack of efficiency in terms of software, the fault of mostly unoptimized applications and a Windows environment still very much centered on the x86 architecture.
To progress more quickly in this field, Microsoft relies in particular on its Volterra development kit. Announced last May, it should make Windows for ARM and its applications more relevant in the future.
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