xbox one s

You may have missed the recent news about Windows 10’s Game Mode. The leaked Insider build (14997) revealed a gamemode.dll file which better allocates resources while playing.

The feature is expected to launch with the Windows 10 Creators Update, and according to Windows Central, it’s been on Xbox for a while. Information from “trusted sources” reveals a little more about the feature.

“Game Mode, it appears, is a feature that streamlines variations between Xbox consoles and PCs, making sure as many Windows 10 systems as possible can run games to the standards set by the Xbox One and Project Scorpio,” said Jez Corden, writer at Windows Central.

Those standards include 900-1080p on Xbox One and an ambitious 4K at 60 fps on Scorpio. This could be why games like Battlefield 1 have been able to run better than their predecessors, despite having improved graphics.

The feature came to Xbox One dev kits in summer of 2016, and Microsoft has been updating it ever since. However, the games must be Universal Windows Apps to make use of the feature.

Reduced Development Time

With Game Mode, developers that have built games for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs can allegedly port it over to Project Scorpio while keeping 95% of the same code.

This could explain why more developers are coming to UWP, as it would result in far fewer resources to make things run smoothly on different platforms. There no longer needs to be a definitive development cycle for each platform.

The addition of Game Mode could serve as a big advertisement to developers for Windows Store gaming. However, customers likely won’t be happy if the games aren’t Xbox Play Anywhere titles.

As far as we know, that’s not a requirement, meaning that despite the easy port players will have to buy games twice. It also remains to be seen how significant the performance improvements will be on PC. Players can already tweak resource use via task manager and other tools.

Even so, further unification between platforms is a good thing, as is the reduced load on developers. We just have to hope that the merits outweigh any disadvantages.