While Microsoft’s Windows 11 revealed event this morning, Xbox manager Sarah Bond joined the stream to talk about how the latest version of the operating system will bring powerful Xbox Series X / S tools to PC, including Auto-HDR and the super-fast DirectStorage API.
The Xbox Series X and S have brought some standout innovations to the gaming arena since the two consoles launched last November, including ridiculously fast load times and the ability to automatically add high dynamic range effects to games which otherwise may not support HDR. With the right hardware, Windows 11 will do both, too.
Bond demonstrated the Auto-HDR function with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
do not givemo was specified for the DirectStorage API, but once you’ve seen the Xbox Series X / S games load quickly, this will give you a general idea. Microsoft has announced that the application programming interface originally developed for the Xbox Velocity architecture is coming to the PC last September. Now we know what form this will take. PCs with supported hardware, ie certified super-fast SSD drives, can load games faster than ever before and, thanks to faster data transfer rates, load larger game worlds without slowing things down.
Finally there is the Game Pass: The biggest advantage in today’s gaming will have its own interface in Windows 11. Game Pass subscribers to the PC version of Game Pass have instant access to all of their games to download or stream, along with quick access to the Xbox Marketplace to buy games if that’s what you’re into.
Many technical things are hardware-dependent. Don’t expect Windows 11 to magically make your older, slower hard drive faster. It will not give your SDR monitor the performance of HDR. However, with the right hardware, Windows 11 could bring your PC gaming performance closer to, or better yet, easily outperform the Xbox Series X.
Windows 11 is slated to be out this holiday season, with early beta builds being released for select Insiders in the coming weeks.