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Microsoft recently pushed out an update for the XBOX SERIES X and the XBOX ONE SERIES S called FPS BOOST. It is designed to increase the frame rate performance of older games as way to harness the power of the new consoles. As Major Nelson announced it, “FPS Boost, is a feature employing a variety of new methods for nearly doubling the original framerate on select titles. Higher, steadier framerates make games visually smoother, resulting in more immersive gameplay. We partnered closely with developers to enhance the experience while maintaining the game’s original intent.” In the grand scheme of console performance and the lack of big launch titles, this is a big win for both Microsoft and gamers who own XBOX SERIES X/S.

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Lack of Launch Titles

One of the biggest challenges every time a new console launches is that so many of the games available at launch were in development long before the console was available which means most of them don’t harness the true and new power of the newly launched consoles.

This can lead to the opening quarter and year of a new console feeling very “What was the point?” for many players. The concept of backwards compatibility started to get more traction, especially considering how popular digital versions of games have become.

For me, seeing the old games available to install isn’t just about how often I will do it, but just that I can if I want to. And now, knowing that older games will get a bump in performance is just another great public perception for both those who own a new console, or are considering which one to buy.

How Does it work?

“In some instances, because there are higher graphics requirements to enable FPS Boost technology, we’ve had to reduce a game’s resolution to ensure it both runs smoothly and plays great. In those select cases, FPS Boost is not automatically enabled for Xbox Series X gamers, but can easily be turned on under the Compatibility Options in the Manage game and add-ons setting. To experience FPS Boost and to be able to toggle the feature on and off, make sure your console has taken the latest update and you’ve rebooted your console.”

Obviously this means that you don’t just need the console and the games that this has been applied to, but you also need a newer TV with the higher refresh rates or a monitor with refresh rates about 60hz for any of the games that shoot for 120hz.

The Challenge

One of the biggest challenges for updates like this is that is likely requires some work from the original developer. And they may have zero interest in investing time and resources in a game that no longer drives any revenue for them.

A good example of this is Horizon Zero Dawn. It was recently added to the Sony Game at Home, which is great for everyone to be able to download the game. But it also draws attention to the fact that it isn’t received the PS5 update love that a game like God of War has.

And with the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel on deck to launch, it might be a challenge for the developers to put any time into updating the graphical performance of the game. If this is something that Microsoft can shoulder and continue to expand, with little developer contribution, it will continue to help the marketability of the new consoles.

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One Comment

  1. I’m currently waiting for more games to allow this feature. I have roughly 20 games on my Xbox Series X, yet the feature isn’t available on any of those games. Most of those games are very popular, such as Mortal Kombat 11, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Fortnite, MLB The Show 21, No Man’s Sky, Destiny 2, Rocket League, etc.

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