Gaming in Windows 11 and Edge Browser to Get a Boost

Some new features and optimizations will arrive to brighten your game day.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography | PCs and laptops | Gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
2 min read
The Edge Browser's new Gaming home page has streams, tournaments, rewards, new releases, recently played Xbox Game Pass games and more.

The new Gaming hub in Microsoft's updated Edge browser.


In February, Microsoft began testing some updates to Windows 11 that improve performance when running DX11 or earlier games in a window (as opposed to full screen), notably to bring Auto HDR and Variable Refresh Rate to older games. And in May, the company sent its new Xbox Controller Bar for Windows into beta: It lets you navigate some Xbox-related apps with your controller. Now, in its pre-Summer Game Fest announcements, the company is finally ready to add its HDR calibration app, which it first discussed in February, to preview. 

The app sounds somewhat limited, letting you visually set shadow, midtone and highlight values for your monitor. But that's typically the option you get in a game, and given there's nothing useful in the operating system right now it'll be really welcome. Microsoft didn't say whether it would be ready for the 2H22 update, though.

In addition, Microsoft is updating its Edge browser to give it a little more gaming style and oomph. One new feature is Clarity Boost, which sharpens content in cloud-streamed games to compensate for the inevitable softness you experience in the compressed streams. Based on the screenshot Microsoft supplied, I think it looks not good, but I suspect Microsoft shouldn't have provided one: Those algorithms are intended to make scenes look better in motion, not on a static screen.

There's also a new Efficiency Mode for Windows 10 and 11, which decreases browser resource pigginess when you launch a game.  

Gaming-centric browser home pages features news, game announcements, streams and more aren't new. But because Xbox, this implementation has a lot more integration with Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Edge has a new menu pointing you to free browser-based games.