Microsoft is improving Windows 10’s Game Bar, having rolled out some new features in testing which include the ability to control your Spotify tunes from within a game.
The Game Bar is a small overlay window that gives you convenient access to a raft of gaming-related controls, and the new Spotify widget means you’ll be able to control your streaming music without Alt-tabbing out of the game you’re currently playing. It gives you access to play and pause controls directly in the Game Bar, along with volume, the ability to skip a song, or select a playlist, and more.
That’s definitely a welcome addition for those who enjoy listening to some tunes while playing the latest first-person shooter or RPG.
- Microsoft thinks PC gamers are critical to the future of Xbox and gaming
- How esports are taking over the world
- These are the best gaming PCs of 2019
Microsoft has also made the Game Bar customizable, so you can pick and choose the widgets – like the aforementioned Spotify effort – which are present, and move them around the bar as you wish.
Another fresh feature is the ability to add text to captured screenshots to swiftly create memes, which you can then share via social media (which is all done neatly within the Game Bar).
Finally, another widget being introduced is called Xbox Social, and this lets you see what games any of your friends are playing, as well as facilitating quick text messages or voice chats.
Big idea drives
So there are some useful tweaks here, although as mentioned, all this fresh functionality is just in testing right now.
That means you won’t see any of these features on the Game Bar yet – if you want to test all this out, you’ll need to fire up the Xbox Insider Hub (which you can find in the Microsoft Store).
Within the hub, click on Insider Content, and select Windows Gaming – you’ll then be able to play with the beta version of the bar (assuming you’re on build 17763 of Windows 10 or better – in other words, you must be running the Windows 10 October 2018 Update).
This is all part of one of Microsoft’s ‘idea drives’ whereby the company is asking: How can Game Bar improve your PC gaming experience? You can check out all the latest feedback and get involved on Reddit.
- Some of the best laptops of 2019 run Windows 10
- Cards’ Wainwright 1st 10-game winner
- These Bengals, in a 10-game skid, may be worst yet
- Magic end Spurs’ 10-game winning streak
- Munchak adds 4 new assistants including Ragone
- A-10 enjoying strong season with new teams
- Top 10 Games in the Big 12 South in 2010: #6 – UCLA at Texas
- Nebraska has 10-game win streak, a lot to prove
- Hornets’ 10-game win streak halted
- Indians start 10-game road trip today
- Yanks’ 10-game win streak ends