Mike Ybarra, Head of Platform Engineering at Xbox shares some news about the Windows 10 Creators Update – rolling out today.

Last year, we set out to make Windows 10 the best version of Windows for gaming. Today, PC gaming gets even better for Windows 10 gamers everywhere. With the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update, we’re delivering built-in game streaming and interactivity with Beam, game performance improvements with Windows Game Mode, and a unified destination to customize your system settings for your Windows 10 gaming experience. Here’s a look at the new features rolling out today, which we announced and released for Windows Insiders earlier this year:

*Built-in Beam game streaming: We’re committed to making great gaming experiences that unify players across devices, and with the release of Beam on Windows 10 today following its console release last month, we’re doing just that. Beam is the easiest and most interactive way to stream your gameplay on Windows 10. Simply press the Windows key + G while playing your game to bring up the Game bar, and you’ll find we’ve added a broadcast icon to launch Beam – no extra software required. This gives everyone the opportunity to show their creativity as a game broadcaster. And it gets better. Thanks to Beam’s low latency technology, Beam streams have less than a second of delay, enabling streamers to engage and interact with their viewers in near real-time. What’s more, Beam enables streamers to incorporate interactive features such as animation and sound triggers right into their stream. The ability to manage your Beam broadcast and interact with fellow gamers on chat will appear as overlays. For more on Beam, check out our Beam Week posts on Xbox Wire here.

*Game Mode: With Game Mode, it’s our goal to provide a better and more consistent gaming experience on Windows 10, by dedicating more system resources to your game. The initial release of Game Mode works best when your PC is experiencing resource contention. In other words, when your PC is working hard to run your game and possibly other concurrent software, Game Mode can help manage system resources more efficiently and optimize them for gaming. What’s more, Game Mode works for both Win32 and UWP games. To enable Game Mode, pull up the Game bar (Windows key + G) and click on the Settings button. There you’ll be able to opt the running game into using Game Mode. And the Creators Update is just the first milestone in our commitment to Game Mode and Windows 10 performance improvements for PC gaming.

*More Games supported by Game bar: In the Windows 10 Creators Update, we now support Windows Game bar in full screen mode with over 80 of the most popular PC games. You can also now manage this feature in the new Gaming section of Windows Settings. Look for “Game bar”, and make sure that “Show Game bar when I play full screen games Microsoft has verified” setting is checked. A regularly updated list of supported titles is available here.

*Gaming section in Windows Settings: Inside the main Windows System Settings, a new section has been added: Gaming, identified with the Xbox logo. This new section unifies your gaming settings into one easily accessible location. At the launch of the Creators Update, you’ll see four initial settings options: Game bar, GameDVR, broadcasting, and Game Mode.  Note that Game Mode may then be turned on or off for specific games using the Game bar (Windows key + G).

Thanks to all the fans for their constructive feedback on our Windows 10 gaming features.  We sincerely appreciate our Windows Insiders who are gaming with us and sharing their input. While we’re happy to now share the new gaming experiences in the Creators Update, we’re already deep in planning for the future. So, keep the feedback coming, or if you’re not with us on the Windows Insider Program, join us! Finally, if you haven’t seen the full view of features releasing alongside the Windows 10 Creator’s Update starting today, head over to the Window Blog for more details!

 

It’s a big update week for Xbox One and PC gamers who are part of the Xbox and Windows Insider Programs. Starting later this week, these gamers will see and experience new features from the Windows 10 Creators Update on PC, with additional features expected to hit console soon after. Earlier this week, select Insider members saw new features such as the updated Home, Guide, and refreshed multitasking for Xbox One. The next update includes some big new additions for PC gamers, with a few more features releasing for Xbox One owners soon. These new features are releasing to a subset of Insiders starting tomorrow, with more Xbox and Windows Insider Program members receiving these in the coming weeks.

Here’s a look at the new features reaching select Xbox and Windows Insiders coming this week:

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  • Built-in Beam streaming (Xbox One, Windows 10 PC): Beam is the easiest and quickest way to stream gameplay, and it’s part of Insider builds coming later this week on your Windows 10 PC, with Xbox One functionality releasing to preview soon. For the creators out there, we wanted to make it easier for you to start your live game streams without any delays so you can quickly connect and engage with your viewers no matter where they are. On Beam, streams have under one second of delay; using our brand new streaming protocol dubbed “FTL”, you can interact with livestreams as if you were in the same room as the caster. What’s more, any stream can incorporate simple interactive features such as sound boards. Coming later this week on Windows 10 PCs, you can start Beam broadcasts by pulling up the Game bar — Windows key + G. And coming soon on Xbox One, you can also begin streaming directly from inside the Guide. The ability to manage your Beam broadcasts and interact with fellow gamers on chat will appear as overlays.

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  • Game Mode (Windows 10 PC): Last year, we set out to make Windows 10 the best Windows ever for gaming. With Game Mode, it’s our goal to now take things a step further to make the gaming experience on Windows even better. Our vision is that Game Mode optimizes your Windows 10 PC for an improvement in overall game performance. The upcoming Windows Insider build represents the first step on our journey with Game Mode. To enable Game Mode for your Win32 or UWP game, pull up the Game bar (Windows key + G) and click on the Settings button. There you’ll be able to opt the running game into using Game Mode. We’ll have additional details about Game Mode to share throughout Insider testing, so stay tuned.

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  • Gaming section in System Settings (Windows 10 PC): Later this week, inside the main Windows System Settings, a new section is being added: Gaming, identified with the Xbox logo. When this update releases, you’ll find settings for Game bar, GameDVR and broadcasting in this new Gaming area, with Game Mode coming in a future update. We’re also beginning to consolidate some system and user settings for gaming in this unified location, where PC users are accustomed to accessing their settings. We’ll continue to develop and deploy Gaming settings over time, as we continue to gather gamer feedback.

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  • New Cortana gaming enhancements (Xbox One): In the coming days, we’re adding additional Cortana updates to enhance your gaming experience even more, such as voice controls for Party commands and using Cortana to play music. We’re streamlining the UI and improving things behind the scenes to make your experience better. In case you missed it, we also added for select Xbox Insiders a few new Cortana updates to Xbox One earlier this week, including setting reminders. Now, by using a simple command such as “Hey, Cortana, remind me to start the Destiny Strike at 7 p.m.,” gamers can ensure they never miss out on a match with friends again.

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  • Screen time (Xbox One): Parental controls are a huge priority for us at Microsoft, as we strive to offer the most comprehensive and customizable family features possible so gamers of all ages feel safe and secure when using our platforms. That’s why the family timer we know and love is coming to Xbox One as screen time, updated for today’s digital family. Parents familiar with screen time for Windows 10 will find a similar set of controls for Xbox. Set daily time allowance and limits on the web for each child—your Xbox will pick those limits up and enforce them whenever the child is signed in. Screen time for Xbox One will be available soon. To prepare, head over to microsoft.com/family, sign in with the account you use for Xbox Insider access, and make sure your children’s accounts are all set up as a part of your family. When Xbox screen time is available, you’ll be able to manage it there.

That’s all for this week, but like we’ve said over the past few weeks, there’s plenty more to come for gamers on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. There’s more with Beam, Arena, and new social features, just to name a few. We look forward to your feedback as you test out these new features and we’ll keep you posted as more are readied for Insider releases.

Today, we’re beginning to ship the first wave of Xbox One features for the Creators Update to the Xbox Insider Program members. As Mike Ybarra shared last week, the Creators Update is packed full of new features for gamers who play on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs – in fact, we’re targeting hundreds of improvements across the board, noticeable by gamers and under the hood. Today’s update will start rolling out to a small subset of gamers, with the rest of the Xbox Insider Program receiving these features in the coming weeks.

For gamers, the Creators Update is about performance, people, competition and streaming – getting you to the things you care about most as quickly as possible. Today, that will mean a faster Xbox One experience than ever before, connecting you with the applications, games, and of course, friends, that you enjoy most. Check out the updated Home and learn how the newly-designed Guide works and is meant to simplify your experience. There’s lots more, too. As part of our commitment to enhancing gaming for everyone, we’re opening up new accessibility options to ensure great experiences for all gamers when playing on Xbox.

Here’s a look at the new features reaching Xbox Insiders today: 

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  • An updated look at Home: One of the first things you’ll notice is a new look for Home. Through the Insider program, we’ve received feedback from Xbox One gamers that the UI can be complex and for certain tasks, can require too many button presses. Our goal is to simplify the UI and increase overall system performance, and that starts with updating Home based on what you care most about for the games you play. To do that, we’ve optimized for speed and are surfacing to you the most valuable content for your games. You’ll notice the main tile for what you’re currently playing has changed. Now, you’ll see a smaller icon for the game and a few options to dive deeper into the Game Hub, interact with your Club or LFG for that game, view your Achievements, and more. The updated Home also celebrates the game you’re currently playing with hero art in the background when you’re not using a custom background. 

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  • Faster and more intuitive Guide: The next thing you’re likely to notice is that Guide has been updated. With one press of the Xbox button on your controller, you can pull up the newly enhanced Guide as an overlay on the left side of your screen, no matter what you’re doing. With the Guide, we’ve added new features and functionality. You’ll notice that there’s a new start page. This page is designed to get you to the content you care about most, including your games and apps, Home, Store, your recently played games and apps, and your top Pins. It also features quick access to your media controls when playing background music.

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  • New way to multitask: In addition to adding a new start page to Guide, we’re also evolving our multitasking system. To simplify discoverability and to make it much quicker to get to the things you care about most, our multitasking features will also be designed to work well with the new Guide. In addition to quick access to music, screen shots and GameDVR will be one button press away. You can bring up Guide and press “X” or “Y” on your controller to record your favorite gaming moments. We’ve also added a new achievement tracker which allows you to track your favorite achievements and play at the same time. The new Guide is also where you will be able to broadcast instantly to Beam when we roll that out to Insiders in the next couple of weeks.

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  • Cortana gaming enhancements: There are a series of new Cortana updates to make your Xbox One smarter. In this update, you can set reminders and alarms so you don’t miss gaming sessions. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing more Cortana updates to enhance your gaming experience even more as well as continued performance and reliability updates.

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  • Improving system updates: Our goal with system updates is that you never have to worry about them again, and to make it clearer when a system update is available. To enable this we are updating the interface so the steps are easy to understand. We’re also going to enable every Xbox One owner to keep their console, games, and apps up to date independent of which power mode they have chosen. 

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  • Enabling Xbox One to be accessible for everyone: One important area for us with this release is to enable Xbox One to be able to be used and played by everyone. Take for instance our new Copilot feature which allows two controllers to act as if they were one. This will help make Xbox One more inviting to new gamers needing assistance, more fun by adding cooperative controls for any game, and easier for players who need unique configurations to play — whether that is with hands apart, hand and chin, hand and foot, etc.. We are also adding new enhancements to Magnifier and Narrator, as well as giving more options over audio output and custom rumble settings on a controller, which was previously reserved for the Xbox Elite Controller. You can find these accessibility options, and more, in Settings > Ease of Access.
  • New spatial audio output settings for developers: To enable more immersive experiences for Xbox One, we have added a number of audio output features in Settings. If you are a developer on Xbox One, the new settings will allow you to add Dolby Atmos for Home Theater, Dolby Atmos for Headphones, and Windows HRTF support to your streaming media application or game. For Xbox One owners, hang tight and soon you’ll be able experience even more incredible audio on your console.
  • Blu-ray player bitstream passthrough beta: The Blu-ray disc player on Xbox One now supports a beta of bitstream passthrough, which allows your receiver to decode audio natively. All bitstream formats are supported, including newer ones like Dolby Atmos.

This is the first series of updates, and there’s more to come. Beam, Windows Game Mode, Arena, updates to Cortana, and plenty more are on the way. Thank you to gamers and Xbox fans near and far, for your continued support—and above all else—for sharing your thoughts and feedback that enables all of us at Xbox to continue giving back.