Windows 11 is still struggling to convince gamers to upgrade

Windows 11 is making steady progress with gamers, but overall the pace of adoption remains pretty sluggish going by the latest stats from Steam.

The Steam hardware survey for June (opens in new tab) has just been released, and what it does show is that the number of gamers using Windows 11 on Valve’s platform has finally crept over the 20% mark, hitting 21.23% to be precise.

That represents a 1.64% increase on the previous month, meaning that over the past three months, Windows 11 market share on Steam has risen by just under 4.4%, so  around an average of 1.5% per month.

That’s not great, really, considering that if you turn the clock back to the start of 2022, we were seeing increases to the tune of 2% and even a boost of 3.4% in January.

Windows 10 is still the main OS used by Steam gamers, unsurprisingly, sitting on 71.26%, although it did slip by a chunky 2.63% this month (losing some market share to Windows 7, which will be a reflection of the survey make-up, more than anything – as that varies every month).

Analysis: Bigger changes for gamers are coming down the line

Of course, we can point to the likes of 2% or 3% jumps in previous months, but that was back when Windows 11 was new and busy attracting the kind of curious early adopters who are keen to migrate when a platform is still relatively hot off the proverbial press.

Still, we can’t help but feel that the steady progress made in recent times is, as mentioned, on the slow side for Windows 11. Some of that may be a reflection of the tech which the new OS offers gamers not really coming to full fruition yet.

Yes, Windows 11 does sport some new goodies which are live and useful right now, such as Auto HDR – which is great for those with an HDR display – and some minor under-the-hood performance tweaking. But some of the biggest changes for gamers, like DirectStorage, which is set to make much bigger improvements for Windows 11 systems (compared to what it’ll do for Windows 10), still aren’t realized yet. (In fact, DirectStorage is actually up and running for Windows 11, but no games support it yet – the first one will be Forspoken which debuts in October, in theory).

In terms of tempting gamers to upgrade, DirectStorage is going to be a much bigger carrot when it comes into play, and so down the line, we should see the return of more sizable spikes in Windows 11 adoption. Until then, though, it’s likely that the OS will just tick along with a steady and unexciting pace of attracting new users.

Outside of the gaming world, other stats also indicate a lackluster pace of adoption, one which has been somewhat more sluggish of late. So, the overall picture is that of an operating system which is struggling to get more folks on-board at a decent lick of pace. In a broader sense, Windows 11 22H2 may help to stoke interest a little more, with some useful changes inbound when it arrives later this year.

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