Microsoft starts testing new Windows 10 Game Bar features including Spotify integration and Xbox Social widget

Laurent Giret

The Windows 10 Game Bar is about to get a significant update this year. The built-in overlay that allow gamers to quickly access Game DVR, Mixer streaming and more is being redesigned with new customizable widgets that include Spotify and Xbox Live Messaging.

Microsoft took inspiration from user feedback to improve the Windows 10 Game Bar, and the result is quite impressive. You will still be able to access the Game Bar by pressing Win + G, and Microsoft has added a new top bar to turn the different widgets on an off.

There are seven different widgets in total: Audio, Capture, Performance, Gallery, Spotify, Xbox Social (beta) and Xbox chats (beta). You can rearrange all widgets as you like on your screen, and even adjust the size for some of them. The Spotify widget is quite interesting, bringing a mini-player on the screen to control music playback, though be aware that you’ll need to have the Spotify Windows app running in the background for it to work.

As for the new Xbox Social widget, it lets you see at a glance what games your friends on Xbox Live are currently playing or streaming on Mixer, and it’s now very easy to message your contacts or start a voice chat. With the new Capture widget, it’s also possible to quickly transform game captures to add overlay text to screenshots, and more. The Xbox team emphasized that you can use this feature to create memes that you can share on Twitter right away.

This new Game Bar beta is available today for all Windows users running the version 1809 of the OS and enrolled in Microsoft’s Windows Gaming flight ring. You don’t need to be a Windows Insider to join the party, all you need to do is downloading the Xbox Insider Hub app from the Windows 10 Microsoft Store, select Insider Content in the upper left and then select Windows Gaming. The Game Bar team didn’t share an ETA, but you can expect this new Game Bar to roll out to all Windows 10 users on version 1809 or newer later this year.

“As always, your feedback is important to us and our partners as we continue to evolve this experience,” the Game Bar team said on Xbox Wire. This new version of the Game Bar is already a significant improvement over what we had before, but the team will continue to listen to user feedback on the Xbox Insiders subreddit.