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With the technology dubbed FPS Boost, effectively doubling or substantially increasing the performance of backwards compatible titles on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S without the need for developer or publisher input -- that is next-gen style patches. Much like the Xbox Backwards Compatibility team’s implementation of Auto HDR it’s an automatic thing that can boost frame-rates from 30fps to 60fps and even (as seen in New Super Lucky’s Tale) all the way up to 120 frames-per-second.

“With the increased CPU, GPU and memory from our new consoles, all of your existing games look and play better,” Paul Eng, Senior Program Manager, Xbox, writes in the announcement. “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.”

“As we were designing the Series X and the Series S, we really designed the Series X to run all games at 4K, at 60 frames-per-second,” Jason Ronald, Director of Program Management for Xbox Series X|S told AusGamers. “With the Xbox One generation, some titles were able to hit 30 frames-per-second and some 60. We really believe best in class gaming experiences lean into things like higher frame-rates, buttery-smooth input. That was a design target as we designed the system.”

Working closely with developers and publishers is still key to ensure that a game’s original intent and vision is maintained. On that note FPS Boost won’t work in every backwards compatible title, with Microsoft extensively testing each and every update. The first batch of titles that support FPS Boost are here now, and they are:
  • Far Cry 4
  • New Super Lucky’s Tale
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • UFC 4
  • Watch Dogs 2

With Sniper Elite 4 and New Super Lucky’s Tale available on Xbox Game Pass. Many more titles are expected to be given the FPS Boost treatment in the coming weeks and months -- with the team also developing new ‘Compatibility Options’ to allow players to toggle things like FPS Boost and Auto HDR on a per-game basis at the system level.

Stay tuned for our full interview with Jason Ronald where we take a deep dive into backwards compatibility, FPS Boost, and the importance of game preservation.

GAME TRIVIA - Did You Know?

Far Cry 3 was originally being developed as a continuation of Far Cry and Far Cry 2, with the goal of linking those two stories together, and then laying foundations for an ongoing narrative. A number of key devs, however, didn't agree and abandoned the project, leading Ubisoft to pivot design halfway through development and craft Far Cry 3 as a standalone title with its own narrative arc.

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