Windows 10 will add a ‘Game Mode’ to “improve the performance of your PC games”, Microsoft have announced. They don’t say much about what it actually is but hey, free performance boosts are always welcome. I’d also accept it changing my desktop wallpaper to some glowy tendril-y abstract art made in 1999 with a pirated copy of Photoshop following a tutorial, adding System Shock 2 noises as system sounds, pausing my Napster downloads, and setting my AOL Instant Messenger away status. That’s what I’d want from a Game Mode, at least.
Mike Ybarra, Microsoft’s head of platform engineering for Xbox, gave a very rough outline in Friday’s announcement:
“Our vision is for Game Mode to optimize your Windows 10 PC for increased performance in gaming. This is a big update for Windows; we’re looking forward to Insiders getting their hands on this new feature for further testing, and we’ll have much more to share on what it is and how it works soon, so stayed tuned.”
Maybe you could start with sharing anything on what it is and how it works. At this point, their statements are vague enough that I’ve no idea whether this is hugely exciting or a minor bullet point. Noticeable gains for all games would be grand. Minor improvements for the handful of games built on Windows 10’s UWP platform, eh, that would far less interesting. Dunno, mate.
(Oh, hey! Looks like it’s not just for UWP games, at least.)
Windows 10 isn’t a slouch as it is. Soon after launch in 2015, it already ran games faster than Windows 7 and 8, according to numbers crunched by the folks at cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer.
The announcement also goes into changes planned for Microsoft’s livestreaming service Beam, the Xbox app, and tournaments on Xbox Live, but only seven people use any of that so I’ll not dwell on it.