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Microsoft's Edge browser gets a game streaming upgrade

Edge browser gaming
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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Microsoft has cloud gaming firmly in its sites with its Microsoft Xbox Cloud Gaming service. To work with that and other streaming services, the company has been working on the other side of streaming with its Edge browser.

We first heard about Microsoft's Clarity boost back in November last year, but we didn't hear much about the streaming helper again until earlier this month. A few weeks back Microsoft announced the feature would be coming to its Edge browsers (opens in new tab) and according to Bleeping Computer it's already rolling out to all users. 

The Clarity Boost (opens in new tab) feature is Microsoft's way of sharpening a streamed game to try to make the image look like it's better quality. There always some data lost when streaming, it's likely meant to compensate for this. It sounds like an image scaling and sharpening filter, which is in line with LifeWire's (opens in new tab)test results when comparing games with and without Clarity Boost.

Of course, Microsoft's examples are all of Clarity Boost doing a bang up job, which can be the case but according to those tests, it could be a game by game setting. If you're noticing some things aren't quite looking how you'd expect while streaming to Edge it could be worth toggling this to see where your preferences lie.

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Alongside Clarity Boost Microsoft is also touting its Edge Efficiency Mode to further help with gaming performance. This turns down the other browser processes while you're gaming, which is smart given there's likely a lot going on behind the scenes that needn't be when streaming a game. It's been around for a while but the two should work well together to bring more power to streamed games.

Given this is all Microsoft, the Edge features are likely to work the best with the Xbox Cloud Gaming service. That being said, these are general streaming improvements so we should see benefits across other services like Nvidia's GeForce Now. It might not be everyone's browser of choice for many tasks, but Microsoft Edge sure is working to position itself as the browser for game streaming.

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast (opens in new tab) right here.

No, she’s not kidding.