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.

  • jt3z

    Confused here… Do you mean Xbox anywhere titles(Games made by Xbox) or 3rd party games becoming play anywhere? Im sure it would be up to the game publishers not Xbox if you’re talking about 3rd party games.

    • Ryan Maskell

      Sorry for the confusion jt3z. Microsoft has promised to make nearly all of their games going forward Xbox Play Anywhere, so like you say, that’s not much of an issue. The problem is with third-party developers – although they seem to be required to use Game Mode, Xbox Play Anywhere is optional. This creates a situation where third-party developers can port their games over with a lot less work, but can still sell them for the same retail price, separately, on each platform.

      • jt3z

        I see. But it makes sense as 3rd party developers not wanting to give out free games for PC or Xbox(Whichever you buy for). Either way thanks for the reply 😉

  • Mel0

    This is a great move Microsoft but just a lil too late. So has this been the reason multi platform games run at 900p instead of 1080p like PS4????

    • Ryan Maskell

      I think this a result of multiple factors. The Xbox One has a worse GPU than the PS4, although it does have a better CPU. That’s probably one reason behind the lower resolution. I’m not sure if PS4 has any similar technologies to Game Mode, so I can’t speak on that. It would make sense that Game Mode has been helping to put newer titles at 1080p, but I’m sure the developers are also putting more work into optimization. Unfortunately, I agree with you. Microsoft has already damaged its reputation a little by allowing poor 900p ports! It would have been great to see this on release.