Microsoft snuck this gaming feature into the Windows 11 September update with Copilot

Microsoft Store
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's Windows 11 September 2023 update started rolling out to users in September 2023.
  • The update ships with most of the 23H2 features.
  • Many users have this update confused with the Windows 11 version 23H2 update, which is expected to ship this fall.
  • The Windows 11 September 2023 update features an Instant Games experience that allows users to play games directly from the Microsoft Store.

Last week, during Microsoft's underwhelming Surface and AI event, the company announced that it would ship the Windows 11 September 2023 update to users on September 26, 2023. True to its word, the update began rolling out to users yesterday. However, the company usually rolls out such updates in waves, so it might not be available for everyone immediately. 

Most users expected the release of the Windows 11 version 23H2 update, but this isn't the case. Microsoft highlighted that most of the 23H2 features (if not all) would ship as part of Windows 11 version 22H2 as a "Moment" update. It's worth noting that the 23H2 release will ship this fall.

Notably, the Windows 11 September 2023 update ships with many nifty features, including Windows AI Copilot, a new Settings homepage, and more. While we've comprehensively covered most of the features shipping with this update, one might have perhaps slipped through the cracks: Instant games.  

This new experience is part of the just-released Windows 11 September 2023 update. It is designed to allow users to play their favorite casual games directly from the Microsoft Store on Windows. It promotes productivity and accessibility since users will no longer be required to download games first to interact and play them. 

Microsoft explained the feature in a blog post:

With customers and developers at the heart of everything we do, we are pleased to introduce experiences, features and tools that make it easier to explore and access content even faster in the Microsoft Store on Windows. Starting today in preview, users can take advantage of Instant Games, a new experience that allows you to jump in and instantly play your favorite casual game directly from the Microsoft Store on Windows without the need to download and install on your Windows device.


The Windows 11 September 2023 Update is rolling out to users with a new experience called Instant Games that let users play games directly from the Microsoft Store. (Image credit: Sean Endicott)

It's unclear which titles will be part of this new experience, but it looks like a great addition. Microsoft further added that it's looking forward to working with more casual game developers to bring more titles to the new experience.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.