Microsoft Edge has had a mixed track record lately, adding some helpful features alongside unnecessary (or even harmful) bloat. Microsoft Edge 103 is now rolling out, and this time around, most of the focus is on gaming.
Microsoft revealed during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase earlier this month that it was working on more game-related features for Edge, which are rolling out with today’s Edge 103 update. There’s a new Gaming tab on the homepage with game recommendations from Xbox Cloud Gaming and random news articles, as well as a new dedicated Games menu with Facebook-style free to play games. I don’t know why we need games built into a web browser, but you do you, Microsoft.
Edge 103 also introduces a Clarity Boost feature, intended for improving the visual quality of cloud games. Microsoft says it’s a “spatial upscaling enhancement that makes streaming games look clearer and sharper while playing in Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 and 11.” It mostly looks like Edge is boosting the contrast on the streamed game, based on the below comparison and Tom Warren’s demo for The Verge from when the feature was in development.
The final gaming-related feature is a new Efficiency mode. When you open a game on your PC, Edge will automatically reduce its system usage, so the game has more CPU cycles and memory to work with. Once the game is closed, Edge goes back to normal. That’s similar to Opera GX, a gaming-focused web browser from Opera that allows you to change the browser’s maximum CPU and RAM usage (at the cost of page performance).
There’s not much else in Edge 103 besides the game-related functionality. Microsoft has added new certificate switcher for sites that require HTTP certificate authentication, and organizations using Edge on employee computers can add their own search results and profile switching. Just like Internet Explorer before it, Microsoft has built Edge to be highly customizable for schools, businesses, and other organizations to tweak the experience as needed.
Microsoft is rolling out Edge 103 now, but you can also manually check for updates in the browser’s settings.