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Xbox New Edge Browser Changes the Game

Xbox New Edge Browser Changes the Game

Published: Thursday, October 21, 2021Tagged: Gaming, Xbox One

Though Microsoft has long offered browsers on their Xbox systems, the browsers have been limited in scope compared to their PC counterparts. This has changed with the arrival of the new Chromium-based Edge browser, which looks to narrow the gap between PC and console internet like never before. It's a huge shift, and one could have significant implications for the system's entertainment future. So, why all the fuss?

Xbox New Edge Browser Changes the Game

What does the Upgrade Mean?

As the basis of many browsers, Chromium has been developed as an open-source project to standardize many advanced browser functions. This led to a flexible system not bound to any one major company, meaning a wider audience, no proprietary fees for developers, and a lot of community trust. With HTML5 and newer internet technologies constantly pushing the envelope of what browsers can do, the involvement of Chromium means that the Xbox browser can step away from simple functionality, and head towards true PC-parity.

New Opportunities

Of all the changes that users of Xbox's new browser will appreciate, few will be as immediately visible as the improved mouse and keyboard support. While controller and voice operations can be serviceable, compared to traditional PC and even touch-screen methods, they're massively lacking. Including all same methods for shortcuts and quick navigation, this one upgrade alone could make the difference between users reliably turning to Xbox over heading to their computer or phone.

For regular website operations, the improved functionality will also mean that more modern and high-tech websites should now function perfectly. One of the more commonly loved examples of this in action could be seen with online eSports betting sites, a strong fit for Xbox enthusiasts. With Chromium support, browsing these websites and betting on titles like CS: GO and DOTA2 is easy and reliable, far from how the clumsy and bug-prone older browser systems worked. Along this line are games that have been programmed directly into HTML5 online systems. Best illustrated by the online games which replaced Flash titles, these libraries of famous titles have never really been playable on console systems before this point. With Chromium, users now have access to thousands of games and animations long celebrated on PC.

Taking this idea one step further is the unforeseen inclusion of access to outside game streaming services. Since Microsoft already owns the xCloud system, users didn't anticipate the new Chromium browser to include access to Google's competitor Stadia, but that's exactly what happened. Though other streaming systems like Nvidia's GeForce Now are still locked out, the inclusion of Stadia marks a potentially positive indication of a more cooperative future between gaming companies.

Rounding out the new additions that players will value most is the access that the new browser facilitates for Discord. Long hailed as the premier chat system for gamers, Discord's inclusion on Xbox is a huge step forward for gaming and communicating with friends. Of course, users can still rely on Xbox's Live framework, but Discord has its own advantages that many players prefer.

Setting a New Tone

When the Xbox One launched back in 2013, many derided its seemingly silly name. In reality, the Xbox One was given that name to illustrate its target as an all-in-one entertainment device. While the machine certainly had its strengths, there's no denying that the system failed to live up to this ideal. With additions like the new browser on the Xbox Series consoles, however, this potential is finally being truly realized.

On a wider scale, similar developments towards a spirit of greater cooperation have been illustrated through higher rates of cross-play functionality. Formerly disconnected communities are now conglomerating in larger and healthier wholes, bolstered by better communication systems like Discord. Sure, Xbox might be a couple of steps ahead of the other systems on the path, but it's forging an experience that the other manufacturers would be fools not to follow.

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