Two months ago, Microsoft announced that the Windows 10 Xbox Game Bar would soon become much more versatile by getting support for third-party widgets. Well, the new Widget Store is now available in beta in the latest Xbox Game Bar Update that was released this week, and you should see a pop up announcing the new Widget Store when you open the gaming overlay.
To access the new Widget Store, you'll need to click on the Widget Menu on the left side of the Game Bar. There are just 7 even widgets as of this writing, including one for the Razer Cortex performance optimization app, and another one from the popular game streaming app XSplit. The latter should be a great replacement for the built-in Mixer streaming feature that was recently removed from the Xbox Game Bar.
Xbox Game Bar widgets actually use the Microsoft Store in the background for installation, and they’ll show up in the overlay when you press Win + G. However, some widgets such as the XSplit Game Bar HUD actually require the installation of a desktop app (in that case the XSplit Gamecaster app) to work.
It will be interesting to see how developers will leverage this new Widget Store for the Xbox Game Bar. There are already two third-party web browsers, as well as a Notes app to quickly write things when you play games. Maybe apps like Skype or the Windows 10 Mail could also have their own Game Bar widgets, but there are lots of possibilities for game developers as well. As an example, there’s already third-party overlay for Destiny 2 to track your progress on Quests, Bounties and more while you’re playing the game.
Back in April, Microsoft also announced that Intel’s Graphics Command Center will also be available as an Xbox Game Bar widget, and it will also support game streaming and capture features in addition to display settings and power profiles. If apps like Steam and Discord all come with their own gaming overlay, Microsoft's Xbox Game Bar has already become much more versatile by welcoming third-party widgets.