Project Scorpio will support one of the coolest PC technologies around: Freesync

It’s generally accepted that the PC gets the coolest technologies first. The PC embraced the world of video game streaming way before its functionality was baked into consoles, and it also had the ability to play games in Ultra HD for years before consoles even attempted to exceed 1080p. 

The same is true of adaptive frame-rate technologies, which eliminate the graphical glitch known as ‘screen-tearing’, which occurs when a game’s framerate drops below its 60fps or 30fps target. 

That’s all going to change with Microsoft’s upcoming Project Scorpio console, which will be the first console ever to support an adaptive frame-rate technology, FreeSync.

Be a G with FreeSync

Traditionally consoles have used an older technology known as V-sync to eliminate screen tearing, but this can introduce input lag and stutter, which makes faster-paced games feel sluggish. 

Adaptive frame-rate technologies, meanwhile, eliminate screen tearing without any judder and a much smaller impact on input-lag, ensuring gameplay feels completely smooth even when framerates drop below their target. 

There are two such technologies available on the PC. G-sync works with Nvidia graphics cards, while FreeSync is AMD’s alternative. 

FreeSync is important for Project Scorpio as supporting a resolution of 4K is a very graphically intensive thing to do, and increases the risk of framerate drops in more demanding games. FreeSync compatibility means that if a game’s framerate does drop then it shouldn’t have too negative an impact on the gameplay experience. 

Get excited for HDMI 2.1

But don’t celebrate just yet. According to Eurogamer, who first reported the news, adaptive sync will only be available on TVs equipped with HDMI 2.1 (a display standard that hasn’t yet been ratified) or computer monitors that support FreeSync over HDMI, making it very unlikely that you have a display that can make use of this new functionality. 

However, going forward more televisions will inevitably adopt the new HDMI standard, and so it’s likely that you’ll eventually end up with a television that supports it. Developers won’t have to worry about implementing the new tech, as it will automatically support every Scorpio game, even Xbox 360 games played through backwards compatibility. 

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.