At Xbox, we put gamers at the center of our vision – enabling them to play the games they want, with the people they want, and on the devices they want. As part of our efforts and commitment to improve the gaming experience on Windows 10, we want to bring PC players highly requested features based on their feedback. The first step in that is understanding how gamers engage on Windows and making the features and experiences they want easier to access, including social, music, performance and more. Today, we are excited to release a host of new features for PC gamers to the new Xbox Game Bar on machines running updated versions of Windows 10.

Xbox Game Bar is the customizable gaming overlay built into Windows 10. Xbox Game Bar works with nearly all PC games, giving you instant access to widgets for screen capture and sharing, controlling your music, finding new teammates with Looking for Group (LFG), and chatting with Xbox friends across Xbox console, mobile, and PC—all without leaving your game. You can access these new features by pressing the Windows key and the “G” key at the same time – “Win+G” – to bring up the Xbox Game Bar when playing nearly all PC games or choose your own custom keyboard shortcut.

Here’s a detailed rundown of all the features in Xbox Game Bar:

Spotify
Like many of you, we believe music is a very important part of the gaming experience. Now you can easily control music and podcasts on Spotify from the Spotify widget in the Xbox Game Bar, including favoriting, shuffling, and selecting playlists recommended for you by Spotify. You’ll need the Spotify app for Windows installed to take advantage of this new feature, so be sure to get it from the Microsoft Store or Spotify.com.

You can get started in three simple steps:

  1. Press Win+G to bring up Xbox Game Bar
  2. Click on Spotify in the widgets menu
  3. Sign in to your Spotify account

Want to tweak the volume of that song you just started listening to? Pull up the audio widget in Xbox Game Bar to change volume settings across apps quickly and easily without having to alt-tab out of your game.

Friends, Chat, Mixer, and Looking for Group (LFG)
The social features in Xbox Game Bar allow you to have conversations with friends who play on PC, Xbox One, and mobile, as well as watch their Mixer streams and send them your creations instantly. Players can use the Looking for Group (LFG) feature on Xbox Game Bar to find new teammates or a raid party with a common play style, all without using a third-party site. Gamers can chat with their friends, using voice or text, in Xbox Game Bar across Xbox One, mobile apps, and PC. Conversations are synced on all Xbox apps, so keep chatting after the game to share memes and coordinate your next session.

Press Win+G at any time to bring up Xbox Game Bar, send a quick message, and get back into the action without taking your eyes off the game.

Broadcast & Capture
Back in December, we promised to make it simple to capture your epic gaming moments Currently, you can easily capture and view your gameplay screenshots, then share directly to Twitter without leaving your game.

With today’s update, you can take this a step further by turning your captured screenshots into memes. During your game, hit Win+G to call up Xbox Game Bar, open the Broadcast & capture widget in the widgets menu, and take a screenshot. Use the Captures widget to add overlay text to your screenshot and make a meme, which you can share with your friends via a message or with the world via Twitter.

Customizable UI
We recognize that customization is central to a rich gaming experience on PC. You can customize Xbox Game Bar to make the overlay your own. You can choose which widgets to show/hide, where you want them located, and pin specific widgets to be always visible. Build your own favorite Xbox Game Bar layout based on the way you prefer to play to enhance your gaming experience.

Here at Xbox, we are a passionate team of gamers who are inspired to continue improving the gaming experience on Windows 10. We’re in the early stages of our journey and the updated Xbox Game Bar experience is just the beginning. As always, your feedback is important to us and our partners as we continue to evolve Xbox Game Bar. So please share your ideas at the Xbox Idea Hub.

And last, but not the least, a huge thank you to all our Insiders for helping us improve the Windows 10 gaming experience!

P.S.: There are a small set of games that Xbox Game Bar may not work over (e.g. games built using the Vulkan API). For these games, you may need to run the game in windowed mode in order for Xbox Game Bar to display.

Good news for Xbox fans, the summer update we released to Preview Program members back in June will start rolling out this weekend. Mike Ybarra, Head of Platform Engineering posted information about the update and what gamers can expect. Read the details below:

The latest system update for Xbox One and the Xbox app starts rolling out this weekend, continuing our commitment to give gamers more choice in how and where they play. Cortana is now on Xbox One, Background Music will be available through music apps like Pandora, we’re bringing the most played PC games to Xbox Live with their own Game Hubs and we’re starting to combine the best of the Xbox Store and Windows Store for a single cohesive experience across devices. And of course, these updates will be available on the new, highly-anticipated, Xbox One S when the 2TB launch edition becomes available on August 2 for $399. The update will also be ready for the 1TB and 500GB Xbox One S models later in the month, starting at $299.

Nearly all of the features that were included in Preview in early June are part of today’s update, and there have also been a few additions since then such as Language Region Independence for Xbox One and the recent release of the Xbox app on both iOS and Android. Here are some highlights of the newest features on Xbox One and the Xbox app:

Xbox One

  • Background Music: Today’s update brings the ability for the highly requested feature of Background Music, which lets you listen to your favorite music in the background while gaming on Xbox One. The Pandora app, launching soon, is the first of many partners who will support Background Music, with Groove Music, iHeartRadio and other apps coming later.

System Update 02

  • Cortana on Xbox One: Cortana is now available on Xbox One in the U.S. and U.K. With Cortana, gamers can expect more from voice commands on Xbox. In addition to more commands and greater accuracy with natural language and text dictation, Cortana provides the ability to use a headset or Kinect. You’ll be able to use Cortana to find great new games, see what your friends are up to, start a party, accomplish common tasks, turn on your Xbox One if you’re using Kinect, and more. We’ll continue to build more Cortana features over time as part of our vision to have Cortana be your personal digital assistant for gaming.

System Update 03

  • Improved Game Collection: We’ve updated the Game Collection interface to make it faster and easier to find and launch the games you’re looking for. Now you’ll be able to sort, manage and see more of your Game Collection easily, quickly access your own ‘Ready to Install’ tab, update your games or apps using the new ‘Updates’ tab, and get more information about titles in your queue. 

System Update 04

  • Language Region Independence: Based on overwhelming fan feedback, we’ve enabled Language Region Independence to give gamers even more control over their Xbox experience. Language Region Independence allows you to choose any supported language on Xbox One, regardless of the location. For example, if you’re in the U.S. and move to Germany, you can now keep your language set to English on Xbox One and enjoy your experiences in English.
  • Xbox and Windows Store convergence: We’re starting to combine the best of the Xbox Store and Windows Store to give gamers a single cohesive experience across their devices. On Xbox One, we’ve streamlined the shopping experience to help you find the games you love faster and at the best prices. You’ll be able to filter search results by genre, read reviews written by fellow gamers – including those voted “most helpful” by the Xbox Live community – easily recognize what titles are on sale with strikethrough pricing in lists, and more. We’ve also added several new channels to help you discover the content you love even faster.

On the Windows Store, we’re adding support so gamers can soon browse and purchase bundles, episodic games, season passes, virtual currency and other game add-ons and DLC. You can also redeem Xbox tokens, subscriptions, games or DLC through the Windows Store. And developers can make their games available for pre-order/pre-download so you can buy a game any time before it launches, play it right when it comes out, and you won’t be billed for your purchase until shortly before the title launches. This fall, the store integration makes Xbox Play Anywhere possible, so when you buy supported digital games, you can play on both Windows 10 and Xbox One at no extra cost. 

System Update 05

  • Facebook Friend Finder: Now on the Xbox One, connect your Facebook account to your Xbox Live account to find your Xbox playing Facebook Friends. You only need to connect your account once via Facebook Login; if you’ve already gone through the steps on the Xbox app for Windows 10, iOS or Android, then you’re all set! Otherwise, now you have the option to log into your Facebook account from your Xbox One, making it easier to find more people to play games and have fun with. 
  • Improved sharing on Xbox One: We’ve made it easier to share your screenshots, GameDVR clips, and achievements on Xbox One. Gamers can now share their most epic clips and screenshots with the community right from home. We’ve also updated the Activity Feed settings so you can now decide what will get automatically shared to your feed. 

Xbox app and Windows 10 PC gaming

  • Top Windows 10 PC games show up on Xbox Live: We’re bringing the top Windows 10 PC games like League of Legends and XCOM 2 together with the Xbox Live community. Meaning, your favorite Windows 10 PC games will have their own Game Hubs on Xbox Live. Whether you’re on your PC, Xbox One, or mobile phone, you’ll be able to see what PC games your friends are playing, share your own PC gaming clips and screenshots with the community, and message your friends on Xbox Live. On both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, you‘ll also be able to party chat with your friends no matter what they’re doing. 

System Update 06

  • 60 fps game clip recording with the Game Bar: Using the new “Very High” video quality setting in the Xbox app, you will be able to record your game clips in up to 60 frames per second from the Game Bar (Windows + G) once the Windows 10 Anniversary Update starts to roll out on Aug. 2. 
  • Windows Game Bar improved full-screen support: One of the most common requests we see for the Windows 10 GameDVR feature is the ability to use the Windows Game Bar with more games running in full-screen.  We’ve added support for six additional games in full-screen mode with Windows Game Bar: League of Legends, World of Warcraft, DOTA 2, Battlefield 4, Counterstrike: Global Offensive, and Diablo III. With those games, once the Windows 10 Anniversary Update starts to roll out on Aug. 2, you’ll be able to use Windows + G to bring up the Windows Game Bar when the game is running full-screen. 

Xbox app on mobile 

  • Xbox app on iOS and Android: Announced and released during E3, the Xbox app is now available on iOS and Android. The Xbox app brings together your friends, games and accomplishments across all of your devices. Now, you can stay connected to the Xbox Live community, see what your friends are playing, share game clips and screenshots, and view achievements through the Xbox app on Windows 10, iOS and Android devices.

The team has been hard at work to release these features to the broader community and we’re eager to hear what you think – keep the suggestions coming on Xbox Feedback. And stay tuned for more details about the next Xbox system update: we’re planning to bring Looking for Group (LFG), Clubs, Arena, and more to Xbox Live with the update coming this holiday.

In the meantime, dig into today’s update and gear up for Fall’s killer games lineup including ReCore, Forza Horizon 3, and Gears of War, all arriving to Xbox One and Windows 10 as Xbox Play Anywhere games.

For more information on the Xbox platform and the Summer Update, visit Xbox Wire.

 

 

Note: This is a staged roll out, which means you may not get the prompt to update your console immediately. It may take a day or two. If you have questions about how Xbox One System Updates work, you can read this Xbox Support article.

 

If you absolutely, positively want to get the update right now you can force the system update.  Here is how:

  1. Scroll left from Home to open the guide.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select All Settings.
  4. Under System, select Console info & updates.
  5. Available updates will show in the second button down in the first column.
    If an update is available, the button will read Update Available. If your console is already on the current release build, the button will be grayed out and will read No update available.

Again, more details about how system updates work are in this Xbox Support article.