Windows 11 already has the Xbox Game Bar – which recently got new Auto HDR – and now the OS is getting a Controller Bar for the tool. Currently available in Insider builds in preview, the new component of the Game Bar provides quick access to games/launchers that you have recently played.
Xbox Game Bar is a central hub for controlling games on Windows 11, and indeed on Windows 10. It has been around for several years, providing widgets and tools for checking game performance, using social abilities, taking screenshots, and more.
Now Microsoft is adding the Xbox Controller Bar as part of Windows 11 Insider Preview build 22618 and the Xbox Insider Program. Designed for PC users who play games with the Xbox gamepad on their PC, the features act in a similar way to the Xbox logo button on a controller.
It access features for gaming and specific functions. Microsoft says users must have an Xbox controller paired with the Windows PC for the Controller Bar to appear. When not playing a game, the user can press the “Xbox” button on the controller to see a new menu of simplified tools on the screen.
It shows quick links to the last three games that were played, and several game launchers. I don't really know why this is necessary when simply pressing the button would bring up its own set of options. But hey, I am sure there are gamers out there who will find this tool useful. It seems like a quick-link game launcher.
“When you are playing a game, the Xbox button still takes you directly to the Xbox Game Bar and the gaming widgets you are used to. The recent games section includes up to three game titles you have played on your local device,” Microsoft explains.
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