Microsoft today announced the Surface Duo Android smartphone, and it showed Project xCloud working on it.
The company teased the capability in its official Surface Duo intro video on YouTube. It's a brief section in just a few frames, but it does well to showcase the device's potential gaming chops.
It's hard to tell exactly what game is being demonstrated in the tease. That's not really the important part though. What matters is that the possibility of this feature exists, and that the cloud gaming service is utilizing digital controls.
The Surface Duo wouldn't need an Xbox controller for Project xCloud
One of the biggest things here is that the Surface Duo wouldn't need a Bluetooth-connected Xbox controller for use with Project xCloud. That's a big deal for a couple of reasons.
For one it cuts down on the equipment that gamers would need to have on their person. Another reason is because it doesn't have to place the digital controls on the same display as the game.
This leaves more room for the game visuals, and less of a chance that the experience can be impeded by a clunky mess of on-screen buttons.
That's especially important on this particular device as either display is only 5.6-inches. That's not a lot of room for the controls to be added alongside the game visuals. No Bluetooth-connected Xbox controller also means less battery drain, which means more game time.
This isn't a confirmation that the device will support the service
Microsoft hasn't confirmed that the phone would support Project xCloud officially. However this is probably as close to a confirmation as possible without Microsoft outright stating that it will be an available feature.
Digital controls wouldn't be a problem, as Project xCloud has already been shown working with digital controls on a tablet. If there were any issue at all, it would revolve around performance.
Microsoft doesn't seem to have shared information on the specs yet, so there's no way to know if the hardware would handle cloud gaming well. There hasn't been a release date announced for the Surface Duo yet, nor has their been one announced for Project xCloud.
There is a beta of the cloud gaming service coming up soon though, and Microsoft already started taking singups for it.
The first wave of invites are being sent out to users sometime this month. Microsoft will also continue sending out invites over the course of the year. If you're interested in trying out the service, you should sing up to be a part of the beta as soon as possible.