The Windows 10 May 2019 Update began its rollout yesterday and brings with it a major new feature designed to make life much more convenient for PC gamers.
The new Xbox Game Bar, which can be summoned by Windows 10 users in-game using the Win+G keyboard shortcut, is now available on PCs running the latest version of the operating system.
The Game Bar works with almost all PC games and gives users instant access to a wide range of widgets pertaining to music, PC performance, social media sharing, multiplayer matchmaking and interaction with friends.
As previewed back in April, perhaps the key addition to the Game Bar is full integration with Spotify. Provided you have the Spotify desktop app installed, the Spotify widget will enable users to shuffle music, select playlists and ‘favourite’ tracks and podcasts.
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In a post on the Xbox Wire blog, Microsoft also explained the social features that can now be summoned by bringing up the Xbox Game Bar. The company writes:
“The social features in Xbox Game Bar allow you to have conversations with friends who play on PC, Xbox One, and mobile, as well as watch their Mixer streams and send them your creations instantly. Players can use the Looking for Group (LFG) feature on Xbox Game Bar to find new teammates or a raid party with a common play style, all without using a third-party site. Gamers can chat with their friends, using voice or text, in Xbox Game Bar across Xbox One, mobile apps, and PC. Conversations are synced on all Xbox apps, so keep chatting after the game to share memes and coordinate your next session.”
PC gamers also have the opportunity to take screenshots and begin capturing gameplay sessions without having to leave the gameplay interface. The ‘Captures’ widget will also enable gamers to overlay text to create memes to share with friends, or via Twitter.
Microsoft also points out the Game Bar UI can be completely customised to “make the overlay your own.” This includes choosing which widgets to show/hide, which will be pinned, and what will be placed where.
The company says the feature is still in the nascent stages and will get better over time, as it becomes more au fait with how gamers are using it.