Windows 11 might be getting this Xbox Series X feature - and it's literally game-changing

PC gaming
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Windows 11 gamers might get one of the best features of the Xbox Series X, if comments from a Microsoft exec are anything to go by.

Tom’s Guide reports that during the launch of the new handheld from Asus, the ROG Ally, Roanne Sones, head of Xbox devices at Microsoft, dropped a pretty heavy hint that Quick Resume could be coming for PC gamers at some point.

For the uninitiated, Quick Resume is a seriously cool Xbox feature that lets you jump straight into a game without having to go through loading up, navigating the main menu and so on. You can freeze multiple (supported) games (up to five of them) at the exact point you leave them, to resume any of them in the blink of an eye.

In an interview at the ROG Ally launch uploaded to YouTube, Sones talked about different platforms and the need to game on your PC, then switch to your handheld, and pick up wherever you were with no waiting – no fuss, just straight back into the action.

She then mentioned that consoles have some capabilities along these lines, specifically Quick Resume, and asked: “How do we think about integrating this into the Windows platform?”

Sones then talks about how the Ally is “making us [Microsoft] think differently about the experiences” across different devices, from handhelds to PCs.

Analysis: Handheld mode seems a touch more likely now…

While we must be careful around what are just offhand comments, the fact that a Microsoft exec has openly mentioned Quick Resume in this way gives us a fair old dollop of hope that this capability will make the transition from Xbox to Windows 11 eventually.

And that’d be a boon for all PC gamers, especially for those interested in handhelds like the Asus ROG Ally, to avoid faffing about with the clunkier bits of the Windows 11 interface (which mar the Ally experience) and loading games.

More broadly, we recently heard news that Microsoft is mulling over a ‘handheld mode’ for Windows 11 that would retool the desktop entirely to be more suitable for portable gaming on a small touchscreen, taking the tack of a greatly simplified launcher-style UI. That would be ideal for the ROG Ally and other handheld gaming devices (even the Steam Deck, on which you can run Windows 11 if you like).

For us, Sones comments here definitely add weight to the prospect that this is something Microsoft is serious about. And given the popularity of the Steam Deck, and interest in alternatives like the ROG Ally in general, that heightens the chances that we might see this handheld mode realized as another string to the gamer’s bow in Windows 11. (Along with the likes of better performance with DirectStorage, another boon that’ll matter more and more as time rolls on, and a meaningful number of games actually support the tech).

Let’s face it, with Windows 11 adoption having been a pretty sluggish affair so far, Microsoft needs all the ammo it can muster in terms of new features to persuade folks to upgrade from Windows 10.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).