With the much-heralded announcement of Windows 11 by Microsoft, people are excited to get their hands on the new OS and experience it for themselves. Due to be released in the Autumn, with a rollout for existing Windows 10 users next year, there are a lot of questions around just how much of an improvement Windows 11 is going to be over Windows 10. Today, we'll take a look at the features that have been included for gaming, to give you an idea of just how good Windows 11 will be for playing your favourite titles.
Windows 11 gaming performance and features
Microsoft announced a raft of new features for Windows 11 that are specifically aimed at gamers. The three major additions are Auto HDR, DirectStorage, and Xbox Game Pass integration. Let's look at each of these.
Auto HDR automatically adds High Dynamic Range enhancements to games that are running on DirectX 11 or higher. This translates to improved colours, higher contrast and brighter images. In short, games are going to look a lot prettier. Already, it is expected that over 1000 games will benefit from this on Windows 11.
DirectStorage meanwhile, will allow users who have a compatible NVMe SSD to enjoy much faster loading times than they would experience on Windows 10. Worlds can be rendered much more quickly as well, so that should lend itself to more detailed environments within the games.
Both of these features are available on the Xbox Series X, so it isn't a total surprise to see them crossing over onto PC as well. But the final feature we've mentioned, Xbox Game Pass, is another exciting addition. It will one integrated into Windows 11 in a way that it never has been on Windows 10. This will make it much more user friendly, and give players greater access to Xbox games. Subscribers to Game Pass Ultimate will have access to Xbox Cloud Gaming as well.
Is Windows 11 good for gaming?
So there are a host of improvements that Microsoft have added to Windows 11 for gamers. But just how good will it be? Well, according to Sarah Bond, CVP for Game Creator Experience and Ecosystem, Windows 11 will be:
The Best Windows ever for gaming
Auto HDR, DirectStorage and integrated Game Pass certainly make that a hard statement to argue against. Windows 11 has certainly been designed with gamers as an integral part of the plan, rather than an afterthought. But while it all looks rather fantastic, there is a but.
Because it isn't as simple as saying that once you have Windows 11, gaming will be a next-gen experience for everyone. Ultimately, it will also depend on your hardware, to really dictate how good your Windows 11 gaming experience will be. You may have a PC that has the minimum specs necessary for Windows 11. But that doesn't automatically mean you will benefit from DirectStorage for example, if your hard drive isn't compatible.
So yes, Windows 11 undoubtedly has the potential to be great for gaming. Just bear in mind that your hardware needs to be good enough to exploit all those new features, to truly get the most out of it.