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Windows 11 reveal confirms Xbox Game Pass and xCloud integration

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 has a dedicated Xbox app which supports the full Xbox Game Pass library as well as Xbox cloud gaming. 

Xbox corporate vice-president Sarah Bond outlined Xbox's presence on the upcoming operating system, which is scheduled to launch this holiday season, during Microsoft's reveal stream. We got a glimpse at the Xbox app in action, and while there may be some changes to the exact UI between now and release, it looks like a faithful mix of the console Game Pass browser and the existing Windows Store experience (which will be overhauled for Windows 11). 

Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Game Pass tab of the Windows 11 Xbox app has the entire PC catalog, with individual games designated for Xbox cloud gaming support (previously and colloquially known as xCloud). Sea of Thieves was highlighted in today's reveal, and its Windows 11 app widget mirrors the information on the Microsoft Store. Bond also confirmed that Game Pass cross-save and cross-platform support will carry over to Windows 11. As a reminder, an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription is required to stream supported games via the cloud. Currently, more than 100 games on the service support cloud gaming. 

Windows 11 will bring additional games to PC through Android app integration. Android apps will seemingly function like normal Windows 11 apps, with support for taskbar and Start bar integration, as well as the operating system's new layout grids. Rather than the Google Play store, however, Windows 11 uses the Amazon app store to deliver Android apps, including games. 

Alongside direct Xbox integration, Windows 11 will include new technologies designed to improve the PC gaming experience. Bond highlighted a new auto HDR feature which automatically applies high-definition range colors to "over 1,000 games including Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, Rocket League, DayZ, and even Doom 64 … with no effort required from the player or the developer." In a similar vein, Windows 11 will use the same direct storage API as the Xbox Series X to improve load times and loading efficiency. Altogether, Windows 11 looks like a solid package of features and accessibility for PC gamers, and it's poised to become yet another pillar for Xbox Game Pass. 

Xbox recently confirmed that cloud gaming will soon allow the Xbox One to play many Xbox Series X exclusives

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.