For Edge to steal market share from Chrome, Microsoft will have to find ways to differentiate its newcomer from Google’s ubiquitous option. Features like Collections (which act as bookmarks, but for groups of web pages) they’re a good start, and now Microsoft is giving gamers a reason to stick with the default Windows 11 browser. Announced today is a suite of exclusive gaming features coming soon to the Edge browser which can be launched directly from a new home page.
Free games in Edge
Inspired by the Xbox UI, the new home screen features news, game guides, live streams, highlights, tournaments and games coming and just released in a separate news feed in colored blocks. Microsoft calls it home page, but to access it, you will need to press on the new “game” header in the navigation bar on the main Edge screen.
Regardless of which card you are viewing, the new Games menu can also be opened by selecting the options menu in Edge and choosing “Games” from the list. A side panel opens with a collection of free casual and arcade games. From here, you can easily play basic games like Microsoft Jewel, Mahjong dimensions, Bargain or not to treat, Cubes, Battleshipand Microsoft’s exclusive Edge Surf game (a more liquid version of SkiFree).
Increased clarity for streaming games
Another feature we’ve heard about multiple times in the last year or so is now finally ready to debut on the new Edge browser. Available last November in the Canary build, Clarity Boost can now be used in Edge to enhance the graphics of games streamed via Xbox Cloud Gaming. Clarity Boost is a spatial upscaling enhancement that makes streaming games clearer and crisper than in another browser. Microsoft claims that Edge users get this update regardless of what hardware they are streaming. You can try Clarity Boost by logging into your Xbox account at Cloud gaming for Xbox website and selecting (…) in the upper left corner.
Edge won’t take up resources when you play
Microsoft has another ace up its sleeve: a new setting in Edge’s Efficiency mode that makes games faster and smoother by automatically reducing browser resource usage when launching a PC game. It basically whistles when launching a PC game, signaling that everything else should stop hogging system components. When you are done with the game, Edge will return to partition resources appropriately without you having to close and reopen the browser. This feature can be enabled in the System and Performance tab.
Of these additions, Clarity Boost is the one that will most likely entice me to use Edge on Chrome. While Golden Ticket has low latency, I will take any graphical enhancements I can get when streaming my Xbox Game Pass Ultimate library to a laptop or tablet. I doubt I’ll spend a lot of time on the new Games tab considering my Edge browser opens to custom web pages, but if you play your Xbox games through a browser, quick access to your library and new titles will be a nice addition.