A Sneak Peek At Microsoft's Changes To Windows 10 And Xbox One

Microsoft was out in full force at GDC this year with a slew of announcements and updates. The company took some time out of the hectic event that is GDC to give us more insight as to what Xbox fans can expect from in terms of improvements to the console’s overall UI, and what PC gamers can look forward to in the upcoming Creators Update.

For Windows 10

The PC gaming crowd will have another way to stream content in the form of Beam, the company’s own streaming program. By activating the Game Bar (Windows key and G), you can take a look at the Beam settings, which include the ability to toggle the use of a microphone or camera. You also have a small preview window, and you can change the name of the session. Once all of that is finalized, you can begin streaming by hitting the button below.

Aside from Beam broadcasting, Microsoft will add additional features and improvements to the Windows 10 platform, including Game Mode, which is supposed to increase a game’s overall performance. To that end, the company will add a specialized Gaming section on your PC’s settings. From there you can manage broadcasting and recording settings as well as the Game Mode functionality. However, Microsoft didn’t provide us with too many details about what it would contain in the final version.

A New Look For The Xbox One

For the most part, the home screen will look nearly identical to its current version. However, the main tile at the top of the page, which usually features the game that you’ve been playing, was made somewhat smaller. In addition, the main game tile will also include links to a social hub for that specific game, associated clubs, and your overall sharing activity.

In the past, you had to press the Xbox button twice to access the guide portion of the UI that had quick access to friends, groups, and achievements. With this new update, a single press of the Xbox button on the control will now take you to the guide. Double-tapping the button will bring you to the home screen.

The reason for the button switch is because the quick access guide will play a more vital role in the console for those streaming or hunting for achievements. For broadcasts, the guide will include a new tab for the company’s Beam streaming platform. Within the tab, you can toggle options for the microphone, camera, or spectator chat, and you can dictate where you want to place the camera and chat windows on the game screen. Before you start the broadcast, you can give the session a name and then start or stop streaming from this tab. Those who love getting every single achievement in a game will get some assistance in the form of an achievement overlay. When you access the guide, you can choose up to four achievements per game. As for the overlay itself, you have to tell the system where to place on the screen, but you can also set its opacity so that it doesn’t distract you during gameplay.

Just You Wait

More information about the features on both platforms are bound to come soon, but at least Microsoft was able to provide us with a sneak peek of what’s to come for its PC and console gaming fronts. Those on the Xbox Insider Program will undoubtedly provide their own feedback to the UI developers, which will be a crucial source for new ideas and improvements to both platforms before and after the release of the highly-anticipated Creators Update.

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