In the current console race, Microsoft’s ace up its sleeve is an ecosystem where backwards compatibility actually matters. Thanks to efforts over the years, a large chunk of the Xbox, Xbox 360 has been preserved and made accessible on the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles. Many of those games have even received a few nifty upgrades along the way, and now Microsoft is stepping up its game further to enhance them even further with Xbox FPS Boost.
The new feature pretty much does what you expect it to: It takes an existing game, and doubles up the frame-rate. “With certain titles, we can make the experience even better, all with no work required by the developer, and no update needed by the gamer,” Xbox senior program manager Paul Eng explained in a post on Xbox Wire.
So far only a handful of games will receive the boost: Far Cry 4, Sniper Elite 4, UFC 4, and Watch Dogs 2 will run at 60 frames per second, while New Super Lucky’s Tale will hit the 120fps mark if your TV supports it. “We partnered closely with developers to enhance the experience while maintaining the game’s original intent,” Eng said.
While not applicable to all games, these new techniques can push game engines to render more quickly for a buttery-smooth experience beyond what the original game might have delivered due to the capabilities of the hardware at the time.
I have one of those four games on my Xbox Series X, and of course it’s Super Lucky’s Tale and not Far Cry 4 dammit. Anyway, time to go test that platformer’s 120fps mode I guess. Xbox FPS Boost will arrive later this year in a new console update that Xbox has been teasing, and will be added to the console’s Auto HDR mode that automatically adds a slap of better colours to games that need it.
It’s another great example of how Microsoft is working to make its legacy as playable as possible, while Sony’s recent efforts have paled in comparison. While the vast bulk of the PS4 library is playable on PS5, only a handful of games have received a proper performance boost on that console, with Sony remaining mum on any other possible upgrades. Bloodborne fans, sorry to break such bad news to you so close to the weekend.
This boils down to a different priority and approach towards games for both console giants. Sony’s more focused on using its first-party power to turn the PlayStation 5 into a device with prestige titles arriving every few months, whereas Microsoft is determined to remain the industry leader in keeping old games fresher than ever with its constant Tupperware upgrades.
Last Updated: February 18, 2021