Highly anticipated: Consoles have slowly become more like PCs with the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. They pack SSDs, multitasking features, speedier boot times, and older, but still PC-like functions like web browsing and Netflix playback. However, Microsoft is blurring the lines between desktops and consoles even further with its latest software update for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S platforms.
As of yesterday, Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser became available on both current and last-gen Xbox consoles. When we say it's available, we mean it; this isn't a half-baked port. It's the full-fat Edge PC experience, but accessible from the comfort of your console without any third-party hardware or software hacks.
As such, you can use it to do almost everything you can do on the PC version. With mouse and keyboard support, that means you can browse the web, check out your favorite subreddits, login to social media, access Google Stadia, use Discord (the web version), and port over your favorites, settings, and more. There's really no point in an exhaustive list: it's Edge, plain and simple.
You can see it in action in the video below (courtesy of The Verge's Tom Warren) but bear in mind that the clip is on the older side. It was recorded when Edge Chromium was still being tested on Xbox, so features like mouse and keyboard support were absent. Still, it'll give you a solid overview of how things work.
All in all, this is a fantastic idea on Microsoft's part. Xbox customers can still enjoy the simplicity and convenience of console gaming with the ability to perform some tasks you'd normally only be able to do on a phone or PC. The PS5 might have started with a strong lead over its key competitor thanks to having an (arguably) more impressive array of exclusives, but with features like this (and, of course, Xbox Game Pass), the Xbox Series X and S are starting to cement themselves as very viable alternatives to Sony's impressive new console -- even if the Green Team's most exciting exclusive games are still a few years away.
I'm a PlayStation 5 guy myself, so I won't be able to take this new update for a spin. If you happen to own an Xbox One or Series S/X, though, feel free to download the latest Xbox patch and see how Edge's Chromium version handles on a console.