FPS Boost, a feature on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S that can quadruple the frame rate of backward compatible titles, could benefit more games in the future.
Speaking to TRG, director of program management at Xbox, Jason Ronald, didn’t rule out the possibility that FPS Boost could benefit more titles one day.
“To be honest, we don't really know right now,” Ronald says.
“One of the challenges that we have on some of the enhancements and the capabilities is that we do all of this with no code changes to the actual original game. So, as we identify new techniques of enhancing and optimizing titles, oftentimes, we know it won't work on all games. And I think FPS Boost is a great example of that, where we're kind of tricking the game into running at a much higher framerate.
“And some games it just works really well. But there have been other games that 99% of the game looks and plays amazing. But then we actually discover a game-breaking bug 80% of the way through or 90% of the way through,” says Ronald. “And a lot of times, we try to come up with solutions, and we see if we can work through those issues. But since we treat it as a black box, we don't have the ability to change the game code directly.
“It's one of those challenges. But we’re also kind of pushing these games further than they've ever been pushed before. And unfortunately, some of the techniques just don't work across all games.”
Faster frame rates
FPS Boost is only available on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S since it requires the vastly increased CPU power of the newer hardware to run the games at a higher frame rate.
Some games, like Mad Max, have enjoyed frame rate boosts from 30fps to 120fps, and countless older Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles now run at a smooth 60fps thanks to Microsoft's clever technical wizardry.
It's encouraging that FPS Boost isn't completely off the table in the future, then, as doubling the frame rate of 30fps titles can have a transformative effect on how a game feels, looks and plays.