Microsoft’s newfound love of gaming will see several important Xbox/videogame innovations come to Windows 11.
“Gaming has always been fundamental to Windows,” Microsoft corporate vice president Sarah Bond writes. “We build Windows to be a magical place, where everyone can play, connect, and create. That’s why we’re delighted to bring you Windows 11, with superior graphics, amazing speed, and an incredible selection of games.”
Here’s what you can expect.
Auto HDR. This feature debuted in the Xbox Series X|S and Microsoft already announced that it’s coming to Windows as well. It automatically adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) enhancements to games that are built on DirectX 11 or newer and that previously only leveraged Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) color.
DirectStorage. Another Xbox Series X|S feature, DirectStorage requires a high-performance SSD drive and the right drivers, but it delivers dramatic performance improvements by quickly loading game assets to the graphics card without bogging down the CPU. “DirectStorage Optimized” Windows 11 PCs will be preconfigured with the right hardware and drivers.
Xbox Game Pass for PC. This subscription will be accessible via the Xbox app that will be included in Windows 11.
Xbox Cloud Gaming. Formerly called xCloud, this feature will also be available on Windows 11 PCs via the Xbox app and also through any supported web browser, including Microsoft Edge. “Even an entry-level [PC] can play the biggest Xbox console titles,” Microsoft says.