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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Windows 11 borrows Xbox Series X/S-like fast load speeds for PC gamers

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Windows 11 is out of the bag and there are lots of new things to look forward too. Among the host of productivity tools, PC gaming got a major boost with Windows 11. The headlining features are all about the Xbox Game Pass app integrated into the system and how Microsoft in bringing more games to PC gamers. Windows 11, however has smartly borrowed some clever bits from the Xbox consoles. Also Read – Windows 11 update: Release date, system requirements, how to download, is Windows 11 update free

During the Windows 11 presentation, Sarah Bond, CVP of Xbox, revealed that Windows 11 has borrowed some technology from the Xbox Series X/S that allows it to improve game loading times. It’s called DirectStorage technology and has been borrowed from the latest generation Xbox consoles. Also Read – Microsoft prevents an Epic Games-Apple-like quarrel with Windows 11

Windows 11 DirectStorage to fasten up game loading times

The DirectStorage technology is based on the Xbox Velocity Architecture that cleverly allocates certain assets of a game to the GPU. Hence, when you load a game that supports this technology, you will get to see faster loading times of the most detailed maps in any game, says Microsoft. In fact, MS says that players can expect “lighting fast” loading speeds; a claim that seeks validation from gamers. Also Read – Windows 11 beats Windows 10 in benchmark tests running on Intel CPUs

However, DirectStorage technology won’t necessarily be available to existing PCs right from the day Windows 11 rolls out. Microsoft has made it clear that your PC will need suitable hardware and drivers to support the technology. ““DirectStorage Optimized” Windows 11 PCs are configured with the hardware and drivers needed to enable this amazing experience,” says the official blog.

Microsoft does mention that part of this special hardware requires high-performance NVMe SSD storage on PCs, among others. Hence, gamers looking to take advantage of this tech could be left waiting for months before such hardware is rolled out. Microsoft doesn’t mention whether games have to optimized for DirectStorage. It also doesn’t mention whether this tech will be limited to games downloaded from the Microsoft Store.

We have seen these technologies in action on the Xbox Series X and as a gamer, I am excited to see how much of an improvement does this bring to PC gaming. Windows 11 will also render old games built on DirectX 11 in HDR instead of SDR to improve the playing experience. Hence, players can expect “much wider range of brightness values and colors, giving an extra sense of richness and depth to the image,”

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