Microsoft's Wireless Display App Streams PC Games to Xbox

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Microsoft updated its Wireless Display app yesterday with the ability to stream games from Windows 10 to Xbox One over Wi-Fi. The update should make it easier to play PC games in the living room without additional hardware, but there are some limitations.

Wireless Display can stream all games, including those purchased from stores like Steam instead of the Microsoft Store, between a PC and Xbox One. Not being restricted to the Microsoft Store alone should help the tool's appeal; some gamers prefer other sellers.

Streaming games from a PC to a console probably sounds like anathema to many enthusiasts. That's especially true when you consider that the Wireless Display app's primary limitation is that it only supports Xbox One controllers; there's no option to play games with the keyboard and mouse preferred by PC gamers.

But that limitation might not be as important as it seems. Valve revealed in September that over 30 million Steam users had registered at least one controller since 2015. Some 15 million registered multiple controllers. That's a lot of people who should be fine with Wireless Display's (lack of) input options.

Engadget reported that Wireless Display also offers numerous latency settings, including one specifically for gaming, to mitigate any concerns about input lag. There's bound to be some--such is the nature of streaming games between devices--but hopefully it will be tolerable for most gaming setups.

In addition to introducing Xbox One support, yesterday's update also introduced the ability to stream over Wi-Fi networks instead of relying on peer-to-peer connections. That's supposed to help improve responsiveness, too, whether the app is being used to stream games to a console or access a desktop via a Surface Hub.

The app was previously known as Connect on Windows (it's not hard to guess why Microsoft changed the name) and is available from the Microsoft Store. Using it to stream games between a PC and an Xbox One requires the app be installed on both devices, naturally, and it can also be set up with additional devices.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.