During a streaming event, Microsoft presented the new operating system that will take the place of Windows 10: the new edition will include native support for the Xbox ecosystem, with Game Pass, Auto-HDR, and Cloud Gaming as major protagonists. Windows 11 will be available later this year and can be downloaded free of charge by owners of the current edition until 2022.
On the occasion of the showcase organized by Microsoft to present the new Windows 11 to the world, the Redmond house confirmed its commitment to expanding the Xbox ecosystem on PC. Some of the features already presented on Xbox Series X / S, such as Auto-HDR technology, will be integrated into the new operating system.
Microsoft has, in fact, announced that more than one hundred games would support Auto-HDR at the launch of Windows 11 on the market, scheduled for the end of the year. Productions of the caliber of Age of Empires Definitive Edition, DayZ, DOOM 64, Rocket League, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and other games that take advantage of the DirectX libraries (version 11 or higher) and that originally supported only one graphics compartment in SDR, will exploit automatically HDR without the need for developer intervention.
The company has revealed that thanks to the higher read and write speed offered by the NVMe SSD memories and the use of special drivers, Windows 11 will allow data to be loaded more quickly using a new technology called DirectStorage, which will partially exploit the same principles underlying the Xbox Velocity Architecture system seen on the Xbox Series X and Series S. The titles that take advantage of DirectStorage will thus be able to take advantage of heavier textures and load them quickly without burdening the CPU. Microsoft also revealed that some configurations built around specific hardware requirements would be sold under the DirectStorage Optimized brand.
The US company reiterated its maximum support for peripherals for PC gaming, from official Xbox accessories to all kinds of mice, keyboards, headsets, and steering wheels produced by third-party companies, without forgetting external GPUs and all the peripherals to which users computers have been used for years now.
Microsoft has confirmed that Xbox Game Pass will be integrated into Windows 11 and the new Xbox app, with software built natively within the operating system. Users will be able to take advantage of an existing subscription or subscribe to Xbox Game Pass for PC to enjoy hundreds of video games to download on their computer, including many new releases coming today, one in the catalog. The company cited The Ascent, Twelve Minutes, Halo Infinite, Psychonauts 2, Sable, Age of Empires IV, Back 4 Blood, Scorn, and Forza Horizon 5.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will also be able to count on Xbox Cloud Gaming, which will allow them to play all PC / Xbox titles that currently support the game in streaming directly from the Windows 11 browser, natively and without having to install any additional software. This will also allow players with entry-level PCs to enjoy the latest news, such as the aforementioned Halo Infinite or Forza Horizon 5, provided, of course, they have a sufficiently performing internet network.
Windows 11 will include a completely redesigned digital store, with a design very similar to the virtual store present on the Xbox Series X and Series S. The release of the new operating system is scheduled for the end of the year, with a free upgrade for the current owners of Windows 10, which will have until 2022 forwarded to download the new edition.