Microsoft announced today that it is further improving Xbox Series X/S enhancements to backward-compatible games with a new feature known as Xbox FPS Boost, which does exactly what it says on the tin.
“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,” Xbox senior program manager Paul Eng explained in a post on Xbox Wire.
Xbox FPS Boost launches today with support for five games — Far Cry 4, New Super Lucky’s Tale, Sniper Elite 4, UFC 4, and Watch Dogs 2 — but Microsoft plans to gradually expand compatibility to more games in the coming months, many of which will be available via Xbox Game Pass.
And it’s not just about increasing games from 30 frames per second to 60; New Super Lucky’s Tale, for instance, will now run at up to 120 fps.
“We partnered closely with developers to enhance the experience while maintaining the game’s original intent,” Eng added. “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.”
Eng also revealed that a system update coming this spring will introduce a new “Compatibility Options” menu that will allow users to toggle backward-compatibility features like FPS Boost and the existing Auto HDR (which delivers better colours and contrast on supported televisions) for any given title.
While both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S inherently improve backward-compatible games thanks to their upgraded hardware, Microsoft has been more hands-on in the process compared to Sony’s relatively indifferent approach. Only a random selection of PlayStation 4 games saw automatic performance improvements on the PS5 at launch, and the company has been reticent to provide details about further improvements that may lie ahead.
Adding to the fact that Sony sat out backward compatibility altogether with the PlayStation 4, it’s clear that the two manufacturers place differing levels of importance on the feature, and Microsoft seems keen to hold onto its leadership position in this area on this latest generation of consoles.