Windows 10’s upcoming Redstone 2 update (aka, “Creator’s Update,”) is expected to introduce a variety of features that at least six people will care about, including a new 3D version of MS Paint, a “My People” feature that integrates with other aspects of Windows like Skype, a new UI for Windows Defender, and various improvements to the company’s Edge browser. One feature Microsoft hasn’t talked about at all, however, is the idea of a dedicated game mode for Windows 10. Twitter user h0x0d caught sight of hints of a new mode in preview build 14997 and tweeted about it:
But this only raises more questions. What would gamemode.dll be for in the first place? Plenty of sources have hypothesized that this is a tweak that would allow a system to dedicate more CPU and GPU resources to gaming rather than paying quite so much attention to what’s going on with background apps. But what does this realistically mean in Windows 10, when even the Xbox One touts the ability to multi-task and can snap certain applications right along game content? The idea that Windows could dedicate more resources to gaming sounds interesting, and I’m nowhere near enough of a software engineer to say there’s no improvements to be made — but my general understanding is that the principle difference between consoles and PCs in terms of gaming was at the API level. Prior to DirectX 12, game developers had much less direct control over various aspects of 3D rendering, and the DirectX 11 API itself didn’t map particularly well to anyone’s GPU hardware.
DirectX 12 changed that, at least in theory (we haven’t seen a lot of high-profile DX12 releases in the past few months, but the API continues quietly gathering steam). But by that same token, DX12 was supposed to be the API that put Windows and consoles on better, more-equivalent footing. It never made much sense that consoles with far fewer resources than their PC counterparts could compete with them more effectively than you’d guess based on relative hardware specs.
Microsoft has actually taken steps to push companies away from the old method of building exclusive fullscreen games, so it’s not clear that this represents a reallocation of resources as we’ve traditionally thought of it. Either Redmond has a different set of features up its sleeve or it has found a way to boost game performance in certain specific scenarios. It’s not clear, for example, if the feature will work outside the Windows Store, or support Win32 applications running via services like Steam. Microsoft has refused to comment on the measure, so we may have to wait for nearer to Redstone 2’s ship-date before we know more.
This article passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.
Recommended article: The Guardian’s Summary of Julian Assange’s Interview Went Viral and Was Completely False.