Windows 11 to bring new features for gamers with Auto HDR and DirectStorage

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Microsoft has finally shared more details about Windows 11 earlier today, and the next version of the OS should be an exciting update for PC gamers. Indeed, Windows 11 will integrate new platform features that shipped first on Xbox Series X|S consoles last year, and this should definitely help to make the Xbox ecosystem a bit more cohesive in the near future.

Auto HDR, an AI-powered feature that can apply High Dynamic Range enhancements to Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) images will be the first Xbox feature to make the jump to PC. The HDR reconstruction technique will be compatible with games built on DirectX 11 or higher, and it should help to make old PC games look better than ever with no work required from game developers.

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Windows 11 will also add support for DirectStorage, Microsoft’s new I/O system that’s one of the components of the Xbox Velocity Architecture on Xbox Series XlS consoles. DirectStorage is a technology designed for unleashing the full performance of an SSD to optimize hardware decompression and let Modern games perform asset streaming in the background without stressing the CPU.

DirectStorage will require a high-performance NVMe SSD and the proper drivers, and Microsoft said today that “DirectStorage Optimized” Windows 11 PCs will come configured with the right hardware and drivers. Even on PCs that are not optimized for gaming, Windows 11 will still provide access to a great selection of games with Xbox Cloud Gaming, which will be integrated into the Windows 11 Xbox app.

Windows 11 will be a free upgrade for Windows 10 users later this year, though the new OS will require a PC with a 64-bit CPU and a DirectX 12 compatible GPU. A new version of Windows is usually a good opportunity for PC makers to sell new devices, and Windows 11 should be no exception.