Microsoft has outdone itself with backward compatibility on Xbox, to the point where – in the absence of regularly scheduled big-hitting exclusives – it’s one of the main selling points for the platform. And it gets better: with a new FPS Boost feature, certain games will run even smoother on Xbox Series X/S.
As outlined today by Microsoft, FPS Boost will work behind the scenes to boost select Xbox One titles to 60 frames per second or, in some cases, 120fps. The internal team says it has “partnered closely with developers to enhance the experience while maintaining the game’s original intent.”
You can see the results in action with this analysis from Digital Foundry:
To start with, FPS Boost will be available in a handful of games on Xbox Series X/S – New Super Lucky’s Tale, Watch Dogs 2, Far Cry 4, Sniper Elite 4, and UFC 4 – before rolling out to a wider selection.
The starting lineup is a sampler of what’s possible. I’m sure Xbox fans are already sending in requests.
“Starting this Spring, you can go into the ‘Manage Game’ section for any title, where you’ll be presented with a new ‘Compatibility Options’ button that will allow you to toggle FPS Boost (as well as Auto HDR) on or off,” said senior program manager Paul Eng. “There will also be a new indicator informing you when a game is running with FPS Boost whenever you hit the Xbox Button on your controller. You decide how you want to play your favorite games, whether in its original form or with FPS Boost.”
It’s cool to see Microsoft make its backward-compatibility initiative such a priority, particularly when there are above-and-beyond perks sprinkled in that need little to no effort from the original game creators. I wish Sony was willing to go to some of these lengths to bolster its legacy platforms.
On a happier note, I’m just pleased to see frame rates matter this much in the console space.