Although people complain about bloat in Microsoft Edge often, Microsoft seems intent on making the browser cater to any and all possible markets. To that end, it has announced today that it Edge is the "best browser for gamers", and has also revealed some features that will help solidify its claim.
For starters, Microsoft is adding a new homepage dedicated to gaming. This will include news, guides, livestreams, and highlights from tournaments, among other things. It also has integration with Xbox so if you sign in with your Xbox account, you'll see content related to your recently played games. In fact, if you have an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership, you'll even be able to launch games directly in the browser. This new homepage is accessible as a tab on the Microsoft Edge homepage.
Furthermore, Clarity Boost, which was introduced in Edge Canary way back in November 2021, is finally hitting the Stable Channel. It basically results in a better and sharper image quality which means that you'll be able to see more details when streaming games through Xbox Cloud Gaming. The technology utilizes client-side scaling to make the stream quality more crisp. You can enable it for a title by clicking the three-dots icon on the top-left of a game.
Microsoft is also introducing a new configuration in Efficiency mode that will minimize browser resource usage when you are playing PC games. As soon as you exit the game, resource usage will revert to normal levels. You can enable it through the Performance settings in Edge.
Finally, Microsoft has formally announced the gaming hub for casual titles in Edge. This Games menu will be baked right into Edge's three-dot (more options) menu and will give you immediate access to classic lightweight titles like Microsoft Solitaire, Jewel, Mahjong, and more. Microsoft has been testing this hub since December 2021.
Although the new gaming capabilities might be useful for a subset of Edge users, they will likely once again spark debate about whether this should be considered bloatware or not. Many believe that niche features should be implemented via extensions that you can optionally install rather than having them being baked natively into the browser.
What's your stance on this topic? Let us know in the comments section below!