Overnight, Microsoft held the ‘What’s Next for Windows’ event where they officially announced and showcased the new iteration of Microsoft Windows, Windows 11. It’s been six years since Windows 10 launched and for me, Windows 10 has been the best desktop Windows experience I’ve had both for work and to play games. I’ve been using Windows since Windows 3.1 and have had many ups and downs with Windows experiences over the years – I’m looking at you ME, Vista and 8. Certainly Windows 7 (after Service Packs 2 and 3), was the stabilisation of Windows for my gaming purposes, and when Windows 10 came along, things really settled in. It wasn’t until recently that I even considered there could be a new version of Windows, because really, how much more can you improve the day-to-day tasks we do on our PCs? Well lots apparently, and Windows 11 proves there are certainly more efficiencies and ways of utilising the power of today’s technology and beyond, and even better, that it will be a free upgrade for all registered users of Windows 10.
You can see the simplified design is modern, fresh and clean, and there’s a new Start button and taskbar at the centre to make it easier to quickly find what you need. Start utilises the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what platform or device you were viewing them on earlier, even if it was on an Android or iOS device. Microsoft are introducing Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops to provide an even more powerful way to multitask and stay on top of what you need to get done. These are new features designed to help you organise and optimise your screen real estate so you can see what you need just the way you want in a layout that’s visually clean. There’s also Chat from Microsoft Teams which has been integrated in the taskbar. Now you can instantly connect through text, chat, voice or video with all of your personal contacts, anywhere, no matter the platform or device they’re on, across Windows, Android or iOS. If the person you’re connecting to on the other end hasn’t downloaded the Teams app, you can still connect with them via two-way SMS.
But here at Game on AUS, we’re all about the games, so how will gamers benefit from Windows 11? With superior graphics, amazing speed, and an incredible selection of games.
Immerse Yourself in Superior Graphics
Games will look better than ever thanks to Auto HDR, a unique capability in Windows 11 which automatically adds High Dynamic Range (HDR) enhancements to games built on DirectX 11 or higher that previously only leveraged Standard Dynamic Range (SDR). HDR allows a supported game to render a much wider range of brightness values and colors, giving an extra sense of richness and depth to the image. This was introduced in the Xbox Series X|S consoles and got an outstanding response from creators and players.
Buckle Up for Gaming at Amazing Speeds
With a high performance NVMe SSD and the proper drivers, Windows 11 can soon load new games faster than ever thanks to a breakthrough technology called DirectStorage, which was also pioneered as part of the Xbox Velocity Architecture featured in the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. With DirectStorage, which will only be available with Windows 11, games can quickly load assets to the graphics card without bogging down the CPU. This means you’ll get to experience incredibly detailed game worlds rendered at lightning speeds, without long load times. “DirectStorage Optimized” Windows 11 PCs are configured with the hardware and drivers needed to enable this amazing experience.
In addition to supporting the new hardware advances needed for DirectStorage, Windows 11 will continue to have the broadest hardware support in the world. Everything from the new Xbox Wireless Controllers to mechanical keyboards and gaming mice, to the Xbox Adaptive Controller, to surround-sound headsets, external GPUs and more. So, you’ll still be able to connect millions of gaming peripherals and accessories to game the way you want.
Experience an Incredible Selection of Games
Xbox Game Pass for PC has an ever growing library of over 100 high-quality PC games across many genres. Game Pass is built to bring the power of games to everyone. And with the Xbox app now built into Windows 11, access to Game Pass is easier than ever. The Game Pass library is incredible, and as announced at E3 earlier this month, you can look forward to releases like Halo Infinite, Twelve Minutes, Age of Empires IV, and more this year. Game Pass for PC includes PC games from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda the day they launch, an EA Play membership at no additional cost with Game Pass for PC or Ultimate, and a great selection of titles from partner developers big and small with more entering the library all the time.
Xbox recently announced Xbox Cloud Gaming on Windows PCs via a browser, and Windows 11 will add cloud gaming directly into the Xbox app on PC, however it is not yet known when this will be available for us here in Australia.
Windows 11 will be available on new PCs and through a free upgrade for eligible Windows 10 PCs beginning this holiday season. When a firm release date is announced, we’ll be sure to update all of our amazing community. Game on legends!
Written by: @ChrisJInglis