Wednesday, February 17th 2021

Microsoft Announces FPS Boost Mode for Xbox Series X|S Consoles

Microsoft today has announce,d via its Xbox Division, an update to a starting lineup of five backwards-compatibility games that are being qualified for its FPS Boost mode. This mode is an internal Microsoft solution that requires no work from developers, being a system-level optimization at the Direct3D level that lifts performance bottlenecks - be they system-related or artificial, in-engine caps). The titles which will first feature the FPS Boost technology and have been singled out by Microsoft for the initial release are Far Cry 4, New Super Lucky's Tale, Sniper Elite 4, UFC 4 and Watch Dogs 2.

These games currently see framerate improvement outputs in the range of double or quadruple their original FPS numbers - New Super Lucky's Tale, for instance, can now run at up to 120 FPS, while before it ran at 30 FPS. Other games see a more modest benefit, running at a locked 60 FPS compared to their original releases' 30 FPS, either on the original systems or via Xbox Series X|S Backwards Compatibility. An interesting solution that microsoft has taken on in its own hands, thus picking up work that likely wouldn't have been done by most developers, as they focus on bringing new experiences to the new consoles instead of supporting older, previous releases. The official Microsoft press release follows after the break; follow the source links to find Digital Foundry's analysis of FPS Bost Mode in the suported games.

Making Backward Compatible Games Even Better with FPS Boost

When we were designing Xbox Series X|S, we knew we wanted to continue our commitment to compatibility we started back in 2015, enabling gamers to play their favorite titles from past generations on the new consoles. Nearly all titles benefit from next generation features like faster loading times and the ability to Quick Resume. Then the team went one step further; adding enhancements to many of our most played games so they look, feel and play better than ever before.

As we detailed in October, with the increased CPU, GPU and memory from our new consoles, all of your existing games look and play better. 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. To that end, the backward compatibility team has developed FPS Boost, which employs a variety of new methods for nearly doubling (and in a few instances, quadrupling) 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. And 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.
We're excited to announce the first assortment of backward compatible titles that will support FPS Boost - available beginning today - are Far Cry 4, New Super Lucky's Tale, Sniper Elite 4, UFC 4, and Watch Dogs 2. We chose this initial collection of titles not only because they are popular among fans, but to highlight several different ways that FPS Boost can improve your experience. For example, New Super Lucky's Tale can now run up to 120 frames per second (fps) and UFC 4 delivers improved framerate performance specifically on Xbox Series S and can now run at 60fps.

This is just the beginning. We will announce and release more titles featuring FPS Boost soon, as well roll out new menu icons and system settings in an upcoming system update. 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. 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.
nd FPS Boost doesn't only benefit gamers who own these titles - you'll be happy to hear that many of these upcoming FPS Boost games will be available in Xbox Game Pass. From this initial release of updates, New Super Lucky's Tale and Sniper Elite 4 are currently available with Xbox Game Pass. We're very excited for fans to experience FPS Boost and in the coming months, we'll be announcing more and more games that support this function.

At Xbox, we believe your gaming investments should come with you, which is why we've brought forward thousands of games from four generations to look and play better than ever on the Xbox Series X|S. We can't wait for you all to give these titles a spin, and to reveal more FPS Boost games very soon.

— Paul Eng, Senior Program Manager, Xbox
Sources: Microsoft, Digital Foundry FPS Boost Analysis, via Videocardz
Add your own comment

14 Comments on Microsoft Announces FPS Boost Mode for Xbox Series X|S Consoles

#1
P4-630
Raevenlord
double or quadruple their original FPS numbers
Now if they only could do this for PC gaming...
Posted on Reply
#2
EzioAs
P4-630
Now if they only could do this for PC gaming...
It would be great, right? It'll really improve the experience for those games with framerate caps (especially at 30 fps).
Posted on Reply
#3
P4-630
EzioAs
It would be great, right?
I mean for just any game!!! :rockout:
Posted on Reply
#4
TheoneandonlyMrK
They did what?!, Well In Microsoft but intrigued how it's done.
Posted on Reply
#5
TheLostSwede
theoneandonlymrk
They did what?!, Well In Microsoft but intrigued how it's done.
Uhm, the games were designed to run on the previous gen Xbox hardware, so it's not so strange that the new hardware is capable of increasing the frame rate, considering how much better the new hardware is.
Posted on Reply
#6
TheoneandonlyMrK
TheLostSwede
Uhm, the games were designed to run on the previous gen Xbox hardware, so it's not so strange that the new hardware is capable of increasing the frame rate, considering how much better the new hardware is.
It's quite strange that something had to be enabled to make a game go from 30/120 FPS but I get that it's expected, I don't get wtaf was happening before though.
Posted on Reply
#7
Nihilus
TheLostSwede
Uhm, the games were designed to run on the previous gen Xbox hardware, so it's not so strange that the new hardware is capable of increasing the frame rate, considering how much better the new hardware is.
It's not that simple. They were coded to run 30 fps. When using this new method, the game 'thinks' it is still running 30 faster, but instead plays at 60 fps without touching the original game code. The ability to do this depends on the game engine and games like Fallout 4 will have to use other methods to increase frame rate beyond 30 fps.
Posted on Reply
#8
TheLostSwede
Nihilus
It's not that simple. They were coded to run 30 fps. When using this new method, the game 'thinks' it is still running 30 faster, but instead plays at 60 fps without touching the original game code. The ability to do this depends on the game engine and games like Fallout 4 will have to use other methods to increase frame rate beyond 30 fps.
Regardless, without the faster hardware, this wouldn't be possible.
Posted on Reply
#9
Shihabyooo
So, basically, override some variable in some D3D struct somewhere.

It's a nice thing to have, but frankly, I think it was something that should've already been an option from the get go. It's not like we're talking about 6th gen or earlier games (or early 7th gen, especially Japanese ones -_-) where the entire universe runs in sync with the framerate.
But I supposed I can't expect consoles to play by the same rules of more open platforms...‍
Posted on Reply
#10
Nihilus
Shihabyooo
So, basically, override some variable in some D3D struct somewhere.

It's a nice thing to have, but frankly, I think it was something that should've already been an option from the get go. It's not like we're talking about 6th gen or earlier games (or early 7th gen, especially Japanese ones -_-) where the entire universe runs in sync with the framerate.
But I supposed I can't expect consoles to play by the same rules of more open platforms...‍
7th gen Japan....more "open" platforms...

You really love the smell of your own farts.
Posted on Reply
#11
Verpal
Shihabyooo
So, basically, override some variable in some D3D struct somewhere.

It's a nice thing to have, but frankly, I think it was something that should've already been an option from the get go. It's not like we're talking about 6th gen or earlier games (or early 7th gen, especially Japanese ones -_-) where the entire universe runs in sync with the framerate.
But I supposed I can't expect consoles to play by the same rules of more open platforms...‍
IMO one of the most well known example of engine sync to framerate should be Skyrim, whereas high frame rate equal misery, pain and death.

Thanks Todd!
Posted on Reply
#12
Easo
Verpal
IMO one of the most well known example of engine sync to framerate should be Skyrim, whereas high frame rate equal misery, pain and death.

Thanks Todd!
And which continued in Fallout 4. Remember being unable to hack terminals? :)
Posted on Reply
#13
InVasMani
I wonder if this is a form of Radeon Boost for the XBOX console hardware. What's the trade off is there a image quality reduction? This seems like it needs some analysis investigating. Interestingly Radeon Boost on my Ryzen 3250U laptop only goes to 50% reduction so if it were a form of that then it appears AMD would've had to refine it to scale downward to a 25% reduction. Basically it would be like going from 4K to 1080p with the tech which honestly going from 4K to 1080p during heavy gameplay action and motion is a good trade off for the performance uptick this is why I consider Radeon Boost superior to DLSS in certain regards. It only does when you'd want it to most the rest of the time you get that lavish breath taking scenic 4K visual experience. Additionally it works across all titles not selectively.
Posted on Reply
#14
Mussels
Moderprator
News likes this makes me genuinely happy for the console world
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment