Microsoft is testing a new feature for Windows 11 that lets you use a controller to launch recently played games, bypassing the need to use a mouse and keyboard. the feature is called the “controller bar”, and can be accessed by pressing the Xbox center button on a controller when you’re not in a game. It’s designed to display up to three recently played games, along with a selection of game launchers like Steam.
As someone whose gaming PC is permanently connected to their TV, I can see the feature being very useful for people like me. Currently, even if I’m playing a controller-based game, I first need to use a wireless keyboard and trackpad to launch it from Windows. But in the future you could skip this step and boot recent games with just one controller. Once you’re in a game, Microsoft says that pressing the Xbox button will still launch the game. Xbox Game Bar more detailedinstead of the new controller bar.
Microsoft says that the Controller Bar feature is currently in testing for Windows Insiders on its Dev and Beta channels, and warns that there could be bugs (such as some games not appearing or others appearing multiple times). Instructions on how to enable the new feature can be found at Microsoft blog post.