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Some Microsoft Xbox Insiders can check out some new Cloud Gaming social features

A graphic of Xbox Game Cloud and Microsoft IP characters pouring out of a Smart TV

A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft finally paid attention to its long-dormant Xbox Cloud Gaming service for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. Some Xbox Insiders were able to check out the long-awaited support for playing games on the cloud-based service with a mouse and keyboard when using Edge and Chrome browsers and the Xbox app for Windows PCs.

This week, some Xbox Insiders can now access yet another new preview feature for Xbox Cloud Gaming. In posts on the Xbox Wire site, Microsoft confirmed that Xbox Insiders in the Alpha, Alpha Skip-Ahead, and Beta rings, along with PC Gaming Insiders with the Xbox App and Game Bar for Windows, can check out an updated user interface.

Here's how Microsoft describes the new UI:

Starting today, Xbox Insiders can preview updated social features when using supported browsers, the Xbox app for Smart TVs, and Meta Quest Headsets. Insiders will have an updated interface in the guide for the following actions:

  • Find and manage friends
  • Start parties outside of playing games and continue party chats between game sessions (currently not available on Smart TVs)
  • Send messages
  • View user profiles
  • View notification inbox and toasts
  • View achievements

Xbox Insiders playing cloud games via xbox.com/play will notice a controller icon in the guide when connected and playing on a browser. This supports users in connecting a controller when playing on a browser.

Microsoft notes that insiders who access Xbox Cloud Gaming on those browsers will have to click on their profile picture at the xbox.com/play website, then go into Settings, and then finally turn on the "Preview features" option to see these changes.

These new features being tested by Insiders will likely be available to all Xbox Cloud Gaming users over the next few months. Until recently, Microsoft had paid little attention to its cloud service in terms of adding new features for users.

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