Microsoft confirms Windows 10 Game Mode plans

January 16, 2017 // 9:43 a.m.

Tags: #beam #broadcast #creators-update #game-mode #game-streaming #microsoft #mike-ybarra #windows #windows-10 #xbox #xbox-one

Microsoft has officially confirmed that the Windows 10 Creators Update, due to launch later this year, will include the previously rumoured 'Game Mode' feature in an effort to 'make Windows 10 the best Windows ever for gaming.'

Part of an update which brings a focus on 3D modelling, printing, and other maker-themed functions - hence the subtitle Creators Update - the next major upgrade for Windows 10 was rumoured to include a special 'Game Mode.' Said mode has now been officially confirmed by Microsoft, which has released a few scant details on the feature ahead of its pre-release availability to those signed up to the Windows Insider beta-testing programme.

'Our goal is to make Windows 10 the best Windows ever for gaming. With the Creators Update, we’re introducing a new feature called Game Mode,' Microsoft's Mike Ybarra explained in a blog post announcing the feature. 'Windows Insiders will start seeing some of the visual elements for Game Mode this week, with the feature being fully operational in builds shortly thereafter. Our vision is for Game Mode to optimise your Windows 10 PC for increased performance in gaming. This is a big update for Windows; we’re looking forward to Insiders getting their hands on this new feature for further testing, and we’ll have much more to share on what it is and how it works soon, so stayed tuned.'

While Ybarra has been so far silent on exactly how the functionality works, it's possible to make a few educated guesses. Third-party game optimisation software typically operates in three ways: pushing memory contents out of RAM and into swap by filling then emptying RAM before loading a game; shutting down background tasks like web browsers; and by running the game threads at a higher-than-normal priority setting. How many of these functions Game Mode will include, however, is up in the air at present.

As part of the same blog post, Ybarra also confirmed that the Beam game footage streaming functionality was to become a default on both the Xbox One and Windows 10 following the update. Windows 10 users, Ybarra explained, will be able to stream by pressing the Super + G keyboard shortcut and clicking the 'Broadcast' button; Xbox One users can access the same feature from within the Guide by pressing the logo button on the controller.

Microsoft has yet to announce an official launch date for the Windows 10 Creators Update, with previous leaks suggesting a March or April window.

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