Microsoft has started testing a new version of its Edge browser on Xbox consoles. The software giant gave access to the Chromium version of Edge to Xbox Insiders earlier this month, offering an early look at the enhanced browsing capabilities for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X / S. I had the chance to check this out early. trying version of the last few days, and I was able to test Discord, Stadia and other web services in Edge on the Xbox. It’s as if you were running the full version of Edge from the PC on your TV.
The Xbox version of Edge looks almost identical to the one you can find on PC or Mac right now. It even includes features such as vertical tabs and collections. Like Edge on PC and mobile, the Xbox version also syncs all your settings, favorites, tabs, and web history.
Extension support is the only major feature that is really missing right now. I’m not sure if this is a general limitation on the Xbox version, or if Microsoft could implement it once this Chromium version is ready for release. Either way, if you try to add a Chrome or Edge extension, it will fail.
The main reason you would want to use this new version of Edge on the Xbox is because of its vastly improved web compatibility. This allows services like Discord, Skype, or even Google Stadia to run on the Xbox version of Edge. With Discord, you can join voice calls and join text channel chats, but microphone support isn’t there yet. This is a very early version so it is likely that it will eventually be supported. Likewise, if you switch to a different game or app, Discord calls in the Edge browser will not continue in the background. This may also change before this Edge update is also generally available.
Google Stadia works very smoothly. I have been able to stream multiple games using the service and the Xbox controller is automatically detected and supported in games. I have also tried using Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service, but Nvidia seems to be blocking the Edge user agent string and there are no developer tools or extensions that allow me to spoof the Chrome user agent.
Elsewhere, I also tested Office web apps in this Xbox version of Edge. They work as reliably as you’d expect, and you can even plug a keyboard into the Xbox and type away. Unfortunately, mouse support is not yet available in this Edge browser. That appears to be part of a broader limitation for Xbox apps that can access a mouse on Microsoft’s consoles, so it’s not clear if this will be fully supported in the future.
Edge on Xbox is currently based on Chromium 91, which is expected to arrive on desktop versions of Edge in May. However, Microsoft has not disclosed when it plans to release this Xbox version.
This Edge browser is already a big improvement over the legacy version that currently exists on Xbox. Full sync support, web compatibility and just the general interface has been greatly improved. While Xbox usually gets dedicated streaming apps for most services, this Edge update is useful for many who want to access everything the internet has to offer.