Microsoft now lets you stream PC games to an Xbox One and use a controller

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
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Microsoft is now letting Xbox One owners stream their PC games to the console and use a controller to play them. A newly updated app, Wireless Display app, from Microsoft enables the support so you can play Steam games or other titles directly on an Xbox One. You can use a regular Xbox controller to control the remote PC, enabling game play or even the ability to use an Xbox for presentations.

Microsoft’s Wireless Display app uses Miracast to create a connection between a PC and the Xbox One, and you can cast to the Xbox using the winkey + P combination. There are different latency modes for gaming and watching videos from a remote PC, and the app is ideal if you want to project a stream or video onto the Xbox. You won’t be able to stream protected content like Netflix, though.

Microsoft’s Wireless Display app has been available to testers for months under various different names, but it’s now officially released for all Xbox One owners. The Wireless Display app was previously dubbed Connect on Windows, and it started as an app for the Surface Hub. Microsoft enabled mouse, keyboard, touch, and stylus support through the same app to connect back and control the projecting PC, and it’s now added controller support for the Xbox version. While Microsoft has been working on streaming PC games to the Xbox One for years, this seems to be the best method to play Steam titles on an Xbox One.

Unfortunately, the app doesn’t support keyboard and mouse input, so you won’t be able to stream PC games to an Xbox One and use traditional inputs for now. That could change, as Microsoft recently introduced Xbox One keyboard and mouse support late last year for a number of games. For now, this is the best way to play any PC games on an Xbox One.

Comments

This is cool. I have a gaming PC upstairs that gets neglected because I’d rather game downstairs on the couch on my big TV. I could see myself firing it up more often knowing I can easily play this way.

Yep, this is 100% my use case as well. Hopefully the latency won’t be too bad.

I currently do the opposite to stream my XBox One, which is hooked up to a 4K TV in my living room, to Win 10 on my theater PC, to play games on the 1080p big screen. I’ve had the occasional streaming failure, but latency hasn’t been an issue for me. I’d expect doing to opposite to work about as well. Streaming 4K will probably not work as well.

Doesn’t seem like it goes quite far enough. I guess I want to be able to initiate the streaming without ever leaving my xbox, instead of having to run to my office, start it and then run back.

While it’s a bit janky, you could RDP from your phone (using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app), tap the two buttons and you’re in business.

I agree though, being able to set your PC up as a ‘registered’ device, and just fire it up from your Xbox would be better.

Tested this out… I was wrong. Windows won’t allow a remote display connection during an RDP session.

And clearly they’ll make it so I can use this over the stable ethernet cable I ran all around my house…

…of course they didn’t…

What isn’t clear from the article is the connection over local WiFi, just Miracast, or does it use the internet outside of your private network?

I believe it is only for local. I can’t imagine uploading a game from a console/PC then beaming it back to a different network would be anything short of mildly annoying. I think the best approach for that would be to stream directly from a server (like Xcloud).

it uses miracast or intel wireless display adapter.

to get it to work, you install the app on your xbox, and both the xbox and your pc have to be able to connect to the same wifi network. if you press win+P and your xbox is not listed, your PC may not have miracast support, or you may not be on the same wifi network.

to see if your PC supports miracast, run dxdiag and click ‘save all information…’ the line about miracast is near the top. if it’s available, it should say something like
"Miracast: Available, with HDCP"

I wonder what the visual limitations are if any meaning some PC’s are more powerful than the one x so if you’re running a higher framerate and settings while streaming will it reflect that or will it be limited somehow. That and If only you could link to Xbox achievements instead of steams I might want to do this. Steam achievements have a lot of tacked on shit that came later to make them more interesting but at their cores Xbox achievements are vastly superior to steam achievements and trophies both of which have added tons of side meta game shit to make them competitive with xb achievements which are essentially the same as day one and still better

There’s likely going to be some video compression. Uncompressed 4k is going to be over 10 gigbit per second. It’s just a streaming video that passes controller input back to the PC so it’s likely going to be limited by your in home network connection. I wouldn’t want to do it over wireless, but I would think it still would look nice enough and be playable .

Happy to see the powerful video game console can now do something a $5 Steam Link can.

I am genuinely curious if it was a tech issue that made this take so long (hard to believe), or some sort of esoteric legal issue(s).

My guess is both, tech issues since it was beta for so long. Legal in the sense, they wanted to make sure streaming 3rd party store games was okay from its owners.

No. This is the issue with The Verge. This app was available for ages and yes this is yet another functionality that is added and just nice to have. Microsoft had their own adapter Wireless Display Adapter that works well, but of course Xbox has better wireless hardware. I was using this app a lot, probably for couple of years. Now, as many TVs had this functionality built-in, functionality will not be required. Depends on wifi HW.

Wrong direction for my interests.
I want to play XB games on my gaming PC.

The entire notion of the "xbox console" is a farce they are holding up just to sell what is essentially PC hardware (and not very high end hardware either).

Please just let us play XB games on PC’s already.

Old Man Yells at The Cloud

Seriously though, you do realize that video game consoles have been a thing for, like, a while now? It’s almost like they exist for different reasons than PC’s!

But now that MS makes one (well, "now" since 2001), it’s a big conspiracy?!?

That would create all the headaches associated with selling PC games. They already allow you to stream an XBox one to a Win 10 PC, which is as close as they’re going to get to the impractical thing you want.

All Xbox 1st party games are available on PC as well. Plus streaming to Pc has been available for a long time. Your conspiracy theory is the farce(hardware sales are not the goal in gaming, they are only really important to fanboys).

What are you even complaining about? You can already stream Xbox games to your PC and all Microsoft games are seeing a PC release.

THIS….is useful!

Hmm.. Interesting that they’re using Miracast. Does that mean this app will not work for machines on a wired network? My gaming PC is hooked into a wired network, while my Xbox is wireless. I haven’t found a way to have my PC connect to the Xbox using this app yet, so I suppose it’s off to the support forums for me..

I`m in a similar situation but the xbox is wired and the PC casting is wireless.

My understanding is that miracast is a direct peer to peer connection over wireless, and that miracast connection is separate and distinct from the network connection.

It might be worth temporarily putting your xbox on the same wireless network as the PC you are trying to cast from and see what happens. I`m going to give that a go tonight.

Let us know if it works. Might grab a WiFi dongle for my PC if so.

Just tested it, works when the xbox is wireless, doesn’t work when the Ethernet is connected.

Pretty shocking for something supposedly in beta for two years

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