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The Xbox App’s “Compact Mode” Is Designed With Gaming Handhelds In Mind
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The Xbox App’s “Compact Mode” Is Designed With Gaming Handhelds In Mind

by Low Boon ShenDecember 1, 2023
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The Xbox App’s “Compact Mode” Is Designed With Gaming Handhelds In Mind

The Xbox App's "Compact Mode" Is Designed With Gaming Handhelds In Mind

Gaming handhelds recently exploded into mainstream popularity thanks to Valve’s Steam Deck, followed by ASUS’s ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go shortly after. Short for Steam Deck, the other two (plus many smaller brands dedicated to gaming handhelds) are all running on Windows, and Microsoft is tapping into this opportunity by designing a special mode within the Xbox app.

As the name implies, “Compact Mode” is designed for devices with smaller displays, with gaming handhelds typically coming in 7-8 inches in display size. It’s designed to better adapt with touch-based controls and better legibility, and it can be activated through the Compact Mode switch on the app menu. Turning the mode on will collapse the sidebar into icons, making way for the main screen to use the limited space.

Microsoft aims to make this the default launch layout with the collaboration with ASUS and the likes, though it’s unclear if this would replace OEM’s implementation – such as Armoury Crate SE exclusively designed for ROG Ally. “We’ll continue to focus on updates to deliver a great Xbox app experience for Windows handheld screens,” the blog post reads.

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Aside from that, Microsoft is also improving the troubleshooting process with the addition of Gaming Services Repair Tool. It’s designed to “fix any issues with Gaming Services or missing content when launching the Xbox app on PC”, and can be accessed through the app menu > Support.

Pokdepinion: I expect more manufacturers to join the party now that Microsoft has taken gaming handhelds seriously. 

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Low Boon Shen
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