There are some new tricks coming to the Windows Game Bar
Will this make it useful?
Microsoft is continuing its push to make Windows 10 better for gaming with a whole raft of new features coming to the Game Bar, Windows’ built-in tool for capturing your gameplay. The next build of Windows coming to Xbox Insiders will supercharge the Game Bar with a Spotify widget, a meme-maker, and expanded social connectivity.
With many gamers already running third-party tools while they’re gaming, the expansion of the Game Bar with widgets that people would actually use is a fantastic one. Spotify is a go-to for many to soundtrack their gaming adventures, so the inclusion on the Windows Game Bar should be a fan favorite.
Adding chat as an overlay is also another huge improvement over the existing need to keep the Xbox app open while gaming to talk to your Xbox friends list. This list will also show what your friends are playing, so you can join in, or if any of your friends are streaming on Mixer.
Microsoft is also making it so you can “pin” widgets to your screen, so they appear over the game even if you close Game Bar
That opens up options for performance overlays, audio mixers, or even keeping streams of your friend’s Mixer channel up while you play. These are limited to Microsoft’s own services currently, although that might change in the future as Xbox Platform Director Jason Ronald told PCGamer:
In the initial release we’re going to do Xbox Live Friends, then listen to user feedback
These new features do make Game Bar more useful, although, for PC gamers, there are better choices for capturing their gameplay
The Game Bar just doesn’t have the control over recording settings that Nvidia’s Shadowplay, AMD’s ReLive, or standalone programs like OBS or XSplit bring to the table. That might change in the future, as it’s clear that Microsoft is invested in building out a tool with useful features.
If you want the new features before Microsoft adds them to the public builds, you can sign up for the Xbox Insider Hub on your Windows 10 PC:
- Launch the Xbox Insider Hub (or download it from the Store if you don’t have it already)
- Click on Insider Content on the upper left
- Select Windows Gaming from the list. If you’re on Windows 10 build #17763 or higher, you’ll be enrolled into the Game Bar flight for the preview features.
- Press Win+G (or the Guide button on an attached Xbox controller) while in any game (or even on your desktop) to bring up the Game Bar and start meme’ing
- You’ll soon be able to get all your Xbox services from one subscription
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