Microsoft’s new Xbox Game Bar launches for Windows 10 as a useful overlay with widgets

Microsoft is starting to improve its Xbox integration on PC with the launch of a new Xbox Game Bar for Windows 10 today. Originally unveiled for testers last month, the Game Bar is now a full overlay that’s similar to Nvidia’s GeForce Experience or Discord. Each section now has widgets that can let you adjust game volume and outputs or monitor your CPU, GPU, and RAM usage.

Microsoft is also integrating Spotify into the Xbox Game Bar, allowing you to control song playback during games. There’s also an audio widget for The Xbox Game Bar can be activated by using winkey+G in Windows 10, and this new layout makes it far more glanceable if you wanted to toggle headset settings and then quickly get back to a game.

Xbox friends list, messages, and even looking for group (LFG) widgets are also available, and you can display as many or as few of them as you want. The entire interface is customizable, and widgets can be pinned into place. The new Xbox Game Bar should work on the vast majority of games, but Microsoft wants games built using the Vulkan API to run in window mode for the Game Bar to work.

“We’re in the early stages of our journey and the updated Xbox Game Bar experience is just the beginning,” explains the Xbox team. “As always, your feedback is important to us and our partners as we continue to evolve Xbox Game Bar.”

The new Xbox Game Bar comes just a day after Microsoft released its latest Windows 10 May 2019 Update to everyone. While the update doesn’t include many additional gaming features, Microsoft is clearly addressing some of its PC gaming shortcomings with this new Game Bar. We’re now expecting to see some more work at E3 this year.