Windows 11 update 2022 has just arrived and it brings some cool features for gamers including a control bar along with various tweaks to introduce graphical improvements.
Let’s start with the controller bar, which is a new friendly view for the Xbox Game Bar controller. Those who play with a controller can access it with a simple tap – a tap on the Xbox button for those using a Microsoft gamepad – and it provides a compact bar that lets you easily use the controller to access your most recently used games ( or launchers).
As far as visuals go, a big move is the addition of a new HDR calibration app for Windows 11 2022 update, which, as you can imagine, is for anyone who has an HDR display. The tool allows for better adjustment of color accuracy and ensures that light areas are not washed out (and similarly that black levels are accurate for dark areas in your games).
Another good news for those with an HDR capable display is that Auto HDR, which is the feature that increases the brightness and color range to simulate HDR for games that don’t support it, is now available in more games.
This update also provides improved Windows 11 DirectStorage support on a wider range of drive configurations (with RAID 0 now available).
Finally, for those who run games in a window instead of full screen, windowed games have been greatly improved. Microsoft has brought Auto HDR and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support to windowed games (they were only good for full-screen use previously). Additionally, DX10 and DX11 games are set to get “dramatically improved” display latency when running in windowed mode with the 2022 update.
Review: Some useful updates, especially for those with HDR monitors
While there’s nothing groundbreaking for players here, there are some solid, albeit minor, updates that will improve the quality of life in various scenarios.
It’s great to see Auto HDR support being extended – we’ve got a guide on how to enable that feature here, by the way – and the HDR calibration tool is a handy benefit too. Those with an HDR monitor are certainly getting some love from Microsoft here and, as mentioned, so are people running games in a window. Few people do this, it’s true, but still, there are use cases for windowed games, and promises of dramatic increases to display latency sound like very good news in terms of smooth gameplay.
The controller bar is something we welcomed when it appeared in preview in May of this year, when it was still pretty buggy, mind you. So we hope that all these glitches have been fixed, although as we know from past experience, it’s not uncommon for issues to occur when a new update arrives – especially a major feature update like this. Fingers crossed that any issues are mild in nature, gaming-related, or show up elsewhere in the Windows 11 2022 update.