Windows 11 Brings New Gaming Features, Will Be Free For Windows 10 Owners

Windows 11 will include Xbox tech like auto-HDR and direct storage.

103 Comments

Microsoft officially announced its next iteration of Windows today, Windows 11. The new OS will feature a number of improvements over Windows 10, for everything from productivity to gaming. And, much like the upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 to 10, going from Windows 10 to 11 will be completely free.

On the gaming side, Microsoft is bringing a number of features to Windows 11 that first debuted on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The new OS will include auto-HDR, which will automatically upgrade a game's lighting and color to HDR, as long as your system supports it. According to corporate vice president of Xbox, Sarah Bond, over 1,000 games will support this feature, including Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, Rocket League, DayZ, and even Doom 64.

Games will also load faster on Windows 11 systems, as long as they have the right hardware. Microsoft is also including Xbox's direct storage feature with Windows 11, which lets assets load quickly through your GPU without bogging down your CPU. The result of this feature should be faster load times in all of your games.

Windows 11 will also integrate xCloud into the Xbox App, allowing any PC to play games at a high quality. Xbox Game Pass is also being built directly into the app, giving users a more streamlined way to play their games.

According to Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief product manager, Windows 11 users can also expect better all-around performance. In his presentation, Panay said that the new OS would wake from sleep faster, make any browser run faster, and even improve how Windows updates are handled. Updates will now be "40% smaller" and run in the background, said Panay.

The OS will also come with many of the changes shown in recent leaks. Screens will have rounded edges, and taskbar icons will be sat in the middle rather than on the left. Users will also be able to divide their open programs between multiple desktops, which can easily be switched between.

While Windows 11 doesn't have a release date, we do know that the OS will be free according to its page on Microsoft's site. You can find a full list of Windows 11's system requirements below.

Windows 11 System Requirements

  • CPU: 1GHz or faster with 2 or more cores, 64 bit
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • GPU: DirectX 12 compatible

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 103 comments about this story