Adding the Fallout series wasn’t the only big win Microsoft gets to roll out before the Xbox Series S and X launches. As it turns out, the baby next-gen console will even be able to run Bethesda’s notoriously finnicky vault simulator at 60 FPS.
Microsoft included footage of the Xbox Series S running Fallout 4 at a much nicer-looking 60 FPS in a new blog post talking about next-gen backward compatibility. The full post spoke about reductions in load times, auto HDR being implemented at the system level, and a simulated image showing the difference in games like Subnautica:
There was also talk about better texture filtering and anistropic filtering for “nearly all backward compatible titles”, although Microsoft didn’t outline which games missed out (or why).
But the bit that most fans are excited for is the potential of a doubling of frame rates: games that run at 60fps instead of 30fps, and games running at 120fps instead of 60fps.
One of those games is Fallout 4. Indeed, in the backward compatibility video below, it even seems like there are times when the original Fallout 4 version isn’t even hitting 30fps.
Still, this is all supposedly running on an Xbox Series S. The Xbox Series X should undoubtedly be just as capable, although Microsoft didn’t expressly say what the bigger console could achieve. But it all raises the inevitable question: will the PS5 be running Fallout 4 at 60fps, or the original, choppy 30fps experience?
It’s an interesting question, because it gives us one of the few points of contention between Sony and Microsoft. Bethesda’s buyout didn’t stop Fallout 4 from being part of the initial PlayStation Plus collection. But Sony hasn’t provided any guidance on what kind of performance benefits the game will get from the PS5’s hardware.
A similar question has cropped up around Bloodborne, particularly after Australian developer Lance McDonald rigged his own 60fps patch for the game.
It opens up an interesting argument: what are current-gen games going to be like on the next-gen hardware, particularly ones that haven’t yet been optimised for the new consoles? If more and more games enjoy the upgraded HDR and frame rate improvements that Fallout 4 is getting, and Sony can’t match that, then Microsoft might have a much stronger tool in their shed than people gave them credit for.