A recent update to Microsoft’s Wireless Display app allows you to stream PC games using your Xbox One.
This fairly remarkable update essentially turns your Xbox One into a Steam Link peripheral. All you have to do is download the app on your PC and follow the instructions to broadcast your computer to your television (or whatever display you use) via your Xbox One.
Yes, that means that you can stream anything from your PC to your Xbox One. You can even control the PC’s mouse using the Xbox One controller. While Microsoft is quick to point out that this has a variety of uses for those who have a PC and Xbox One, many pepople are rightfully focusing on what this means for gamers everywhere who now have the ability to play Steam titles and other PC games through their Xbox One.
Before we get into that, though, you should probably know that there are a few drawbacks to this method. The biggest at the moment is that this app doesn’t feature keyboard and mouse support. While the Xbox One does support keyboards and mice, the way this system works means that you won’t be able to play PC games you stream to the Xbox One using keyboard and mouse peripherals hooked up to your Xbox One. There’s also the matter of input lag. Even with a strong, wired internet connection, you can expect to experience some lag when streaming from our PC to your Xbox.
All things considered, though, this is certainly the best way available to stream certain PC titles from Steam and elsewhere (as well as other PC content) to your Xbox One. Even if you have to use your Xbox controller to control whatever you are streaming from your PC (for the moment, at least), it’s still a tremendous step forward in terms of Microsoft turning the Xbox into something of an extension for your PC.
This announcement follows the even more shocking reveal that the PC version of the Halo: Master Chief Collection will be available via Steam at launch. Between these two announcements, you really do get the feeling that we’re only scratching the surface of Microsoft’s promise to expand the Xbox brand beyond the limits of Xbox consoles.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.