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Windows 10’s upcoming Game Mode will work with Steam games, too

by Eric Frederiksen | January 16, 2017January 16, 2017 6:30 am PST

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Back in my day, when it was time to play a game, we had to exit Windows and boot into the game from a command prompt. There was no such thing as Alt-Tabbing between my game and whatever else I’d been doing on the computer. And there was no bulky, RAM-hogging Windows instance running underneath the game I was trying to play. While that exact scenario isn’t going to be coming back anytime soon, Microsoft has confirmed that a performance-enhancing Game Mode is coming to the operating system alongside the Creators Update scheduled to release this spring.

Evidence of the mode was first dug up last month, but now we have official word. Details on how the mode works are light, but Xbox executive Mike Ybarra confirmed one of the big lingering questions on Twitter, saying that the game mode will work for both Win32 and UWP games. In other words, the mode isn’t just for games purchased through the Windows store. This was my biggest fear when the feature was outed. Microsoft has a history of making cool features and then letting them stumble and die by keeping them as Windows 10-exclusives.

Will this work with every game? We don’t know yet.

There’s no promise yet that it’ll work with every game, but it sounds like it’s a rather low-level feature that would do things like suspending processes that could get in the way of an ideal gaming experience. Hopefully, then, it’ll be something that just works with every game and doesn’t require any developer intervention.

The feature will roll out to Windows Insiders in the near future, and we’ll see it publicly whenever the Creators Update comes to Windows 10.

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Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...