Microsoft is in full swing releasing builds to the insider ring just ahead of the Windows 10 Creators Update.
The Windows 10 Creators Update is due to bring lots of new features and improvements for every Windows user.
As Microsoft highlights in a blog post:
At our core, we believe each of us are creators. I’m personally inspired by creators who use technology to build a better world for each of us, who build communities with technology, and who develop revolutionary new ways to educate all types of students. However you choose to create, we are building Windows for each of you. We want to help you make your mark on the world and for Windows to be the place you love to create and play.
However, Microsoft is also bringing a lot of changes for its biggest audience: gamers.
Windows 10 already has brought a lot of advanced features for gamers such as DirectX 12, the Xbox app etc. But Microsoft wants to take PC gaming to the next level with the Creators Update. Microsoft wants users to switch from previous versions of Windows rather quickly.
Streaming to Beam
Recently, in August, Microsoft acquired the popular game streaming service, Beam. With the Creators Update, its integrating Beam streaming into Windows 10. Users will be able to stream directly via the Game Bar. With Build 15019, Microsoft seems to have enabled this functionality. Microsoft wants this streaming process to be as seamless as possible, so they are still tweaking the feature. We should see more improvements ahead of launch.
I am not exactly sure how this feature will work since I don’t play that many games, but this is how Microsoft describes it:
The Creators Update will also bring user-generated tournaments via Arena on Xbox Live, so you can define the rules of competition, invite friends and track tournament progress seamlessly across devices.
So yes, I really can’t provide much feedback on that feature. However, I’m sure this is something lots of gamers will love.
Perhaps the biggest highlighted feature of Build 15019 is Game Mode. While originally spotted by users in the previous build, it was basically inactive. With Build 15019, Microsoft finally provided an explanation as to what this feature does. And with Build 15019, users will be able to try it out for themselves.
Windows Central recently had the opportunity to question Microsoft directly about Game Mode. You can read the full post here but the highlights were:
The goal behind Game Mode is consistency, rather than flat performance boosts (although it will bring some of that too). Game Mode will prevent system tasks from stealing resources from your games, making frame rates and performance generally more consistent.
UWP is the future
Microsoft told me that while Win32 PC games (typical of Steam) will see some benefits from Game Mode, it will be UWP games (typical of the Windows 10 Store) that see the biggest improvements. This is because the UWP environment is a little more standardized than Win32, and Microsoft can more easily optimize the feature thus. Microsoft is working with their hardware partners, including Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA, to make sure Game Mode is as good as it can be, optimizing for the most popular hardware configurations available.
Multi taskers, rejoice
I also asked to what extent Game Mode would degrade your system while enabled. For now, notifications will still pop, Cortana and other important Windows features you expect to work will still run. Microsoft is still iterating on just how much of your system it will impede when Game Mode ships fully this spring with the Windows 10 Creators Update. That said, Game Mode will dynamically disable itself when you minimize or set your game into the background, giving your system full access to your hardware while you begin multi-tasking. This is like how the Xbox One works today. It sounds as though Game Mode will generally be a seamless experience for those who utilize it.
It will be enabled by default at system level.
I asked about “Game Mode enabled Universal Windows Apps,”(a phrase that appeared in earlier documentation), and was told that developers won’t have to do anything to support Game Mode in their games, as it will be enabled by default at a system level. However, Microsoft is exploring ways developers can further leverage Game Mode for their games to bring additional benefits down the line.
I am an average Windows user who uses his PC for work and some light gaming such as Minecraft. Most of these features that I highlighted above won’t be important to me. But for hardcore gamers, there’s another reason to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 and take advantage of these new features.
Apart from gaming, I am looking forward to seeing the many new changes and improvements with the Creators Update.