Thursday, March 4

Microsoft is improving Xbox games for free on Series X and S

The backward compatibility team at Xbox now offers to improve the fluidity of certain games for free. And this without the help of developers.

Since 2015, Microsoft has had a development team dedicated to the sustainability of Xbox games in its ecosystem. It is this team that developed the backward compatibility of Xbox and Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, then the backward compatibility system of the Xbox Series S and X. Over the years, it has become a real asset for Microsoft, which offers players improvements for certain games while giving them some peace of mind in the long run when they buy Xbox games.

With the Xbox One X, Microsoft introduced an improvement in the graphics quality of some backward compatible games, such as Red Dead Redemptionwithout the help of the game’s developers. The Xbox development team would take it upon themselves to find tips for delivering these enhancements simply by leveraging the power of our modern consoles. This is again what the team is announcing with the FPS Boost feature for the Xbox Series X and S.

Xbox games that go from 30 to 60 or 120 FPS

This time, the team therefore tackled the fluidity of the games. With FPS Boost, it offers a function that will allow some backward compatible games to better exploit the power of the X and S Series and thus go from 30 to 60 images per second, or even reach 120 images per second. In several cases like Sniper Elite 4, this will also make it possible to erase the performance problems that existed on the original version and were notably visible on the Xbox One S.

An update in the spring will let the player know when the FPS Boost function will be activated in a game. A notification will appear in the guide menu (the Xbox button on the controller) next to another for the auto function. HDR. It will also be possible to deactivate FPS Boost, if we want to find the original experience of the game. Today, Microsoft announces only 5 games compatible with this function, but promises that others will join the list soon. .

  • Watch Dogs 2
  • Far Cry 4
  • New Super Lucky’s Tale
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • UFC 4

To achieve FPS Boost, the Microsoft team looked into the operation of Direct3D, the graphics component of the DirectX API, in other words the suite of tools used by developers to create Xbox games. By manipulating the operation of Direct3D, Microsoft manages to make the game believe that it is still running at 30 FPS, thus not requiring any modification of the code, while the game is well rendered at 60 frames per second or more.

This explains why Microsoft must validate one by one the games where the company wishes to activate this function. Many elements in the game can depend on its display, such as animations, but also the physics engine. Microsoft obviously needs to make sure that its FPS Boost feature isn’t going to break the gaming experience.

A great initiative

It’s hard not to salute Microsoft’s approach, which is to offer game improvements, free of charge, without asking the developers of the titles in question and through the system of backward compatibility of consoles. If we easily understand why Nintendo can not offer this kind of function, we can hardly imagine inserting a DVD into a Nintendo Switch, we would like to see Sony inspired by it. The Japanese manufacturer has a great history in video games behind it, since the first PlayStation. Imagine Sony offering backwards compatibility for PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 games on the PS5 is a dream.

In the meantime, Microsoft is endowing its ecosystem with an advantage to highlight among players. The firm obviously does not do this for the beauty of the gesture. This allows Microsoft on the one hand to integrate games into its Xbox Game Pass by making them benefit from improvements, as is the case with Sniper Elite 4 here or from New Super Lucky’s Tale. On the other hand, it allows Microsoft to encourage gamers to invest in its ecosystem rather than in Sony or Nintendo when the time comes to buy a multiplatform game. At Xbox, we can feel reassured to think that the purchase will be pampered over several generations of consoles.

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