Microsoft Wants The Edge Browser To Appeal To Gamers

Microsoft’s latest effort to popularize Edge is all about convincing gamers to try out the browser.

The company is introducing several new gaming-focused features to Edge slated to become available today. One of them includes a new “Efficiency mode” setting that promises to reduce the browser’s system resource usage, freeing up more computing power to run your favorite PC games.

“With this feature, you do not need to close the browser to play and reopen it when you are done. As soon as you close the game, Microsoft Edge will exit Efficiency mode and get you right back to where you left off,” the company CVP Liat Ben-Zur wrote in a blog post(Opens in a new window)† The new Efficiency mode is available under the “System and performance tab” in the settings panel.

For casual gamers, Microsoft is also adding a dedicated “Games” menu in the browser’s three-dot (…) panel, which can access a list of free-to-play web-based games. The various titles seem to come from the company’s online MSN Games(Opens in a new window) site and include Microsoft Solitaire, Microsoft Jewel and Microsoft Mahjong, among many others.

Games Menu

Another feature focuses on game streaming over the Edge browser. In case you don’t know, Microsoft has its own cloud gaming service through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, meaning you can play the console-based games on any device, so long as it has a fast internet connection.

Edge is now getting a new capability called “Clarity Boost,” which is designed for the Xbox cloud gaming service. Once activated, the feature can upscale titles played over Xbox cloud gaming to produce clearer and sharper graphics. Clarity Boost can be turned on by clicking the three-dot menu (…) in the upper left-hand corner of the game when its running over the browser.

Clarity Boost

The final feature is a revamped gaming section in the Edge browser’s homepage, which can be accessed the moment you launch the software. Users can now personalize the section to feed content on games, live streams and tournaments they care about.

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“And if you sign in with your Xbox account, you will get Xbox content such as games you might like and easy access to the Xbox Cloud Gaming library — including recently played games and related content,” Ben-Zur added. “If you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership, you can even launch and start playing games with Xbox Cloud Gaming right in the browser.”

The features seem to be taking a page from Opera’s own GX browser, which is entirely focused on gaming. It too can be calibrated to limit system resources and even includes a built-in game.

As for Microsoft, the company is teasing more gaming-focused features are in the pipeline for Edge. “We cannot wait to hear what you think about our new gaming features —and stay tuned for more updates,” Ben-Zur said.

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