If Sunday’s Xbox-Bethesda Showcase will be devoted exclusively to new games coming to PCs and home consoles, Microsoft’s gaming branch took advantage of the start of the week to distill its announcements. Windows 11 and the Edge browser also benefit from video game advances.
It’s not just games in life. There is also experience. Xbox has understood this and has split its summer presentations into several stages. Before the Showcase scheduled for Sunday evening to unveil the titles of its Xbox Game Studios, Microsoft’s gaming branch made plenty of announcements this Thursday around game media.
Xbox has thus confirmed the arrival of cloud gaming on Samsung Smart TVs, improvements through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to play your own games in the cloud, the possibility of having free demos via the subscription game service and many more things. But Phil Spencer does not forget Windows 11 and Microsoft Edge, which are also entitled to their share of new features.
Windows 11 is full of visual improvements
At Microsoft, we don’t just play on Xbox Series S and Series X, or even on Xbox One X. The PC remains a shocking asset. If only at the level of the PC Game Pass launched last year and of which Xbox has announced the tripling of the number of subscribers since November 2021 (without giving precise figures).
To improve the experience, Windows 11 will benefit from interesting updates. Starting with the arrival of DirectX 12 Ultimate for developers or even an optimization of windowed games. Function Optimization for windowed games needs to dramatically improve latency, add VRR (variable refresh rate) and auto HDR.
HDR will also benefit from a news calibration app so gamers can adjust color accuracy and consistency on their compatible display. This is to eliminate clipping effects, high brightness of areas on some screens. The application will be available on the Microsoft Store, with three test modes (determining the darkest visible detail, the brightest detail and the brightness test). All of this is currently only available to Windows Insider members.
Windows 11 adds many widgets and it was logical to find some dedicated to video games. the Game Pass Widget will allow you to search for a game in the catalog, to access a list of suggestions or to find the list of your recently played games.
A game bar (Controller Bar) should also display games you’ve recently played so you can quickly return to them, whether software, via the Xbox app or in Cloud Gaming. All without the need for a keyboard and mouse, just with your Xbox Series controller paired to Windows 11. Pressing the Xbox button will automatically open a menu bar. The last three games you played on your PC will be displayed. For the moment, only registered users of the Windows Insider program can take advantage of it.
Playing on Edge becomes smoother
Browser gaming, especially for the cloud on Apple and other devices, has become important. Xbox seeks to convert all media to its cause and nothing better than to show the possibilities on the home one for that.
Microsoft Edge will also benefit from significant improvements in ergonomics and performance. The Clarity Boost mode available for certain games had been announced on Edge in order to play in cloud gaming with optimized quality. It comes into application on Windows PCs to provide better definition to games. It joins the Efficiency mode coming to Windows 10 and Windows 11 to keep games fast and smooth. This will save browser resources as soon as the game is launched.
To find all your games, whatever they are, more easily, Microsoft has redesigned its hub. The dedicated menu on Edge will highlight popular games like Solitaire or Jewel, or even the exclusive Microsoft Edge Surf. You can more easily relaunch them, see the suggestions offered or search for new ones.
It complements the new Gaming tab available in Edge. This video game home page can be personalized with game guides, streaming, news, tournaments, upcoming releases, etc. Not to mention a quick and easy way to resume your game.
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