Microsoft have been making a big deal about the potential of their extensive backward compatibility programme on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, from simply steadying frame rates and dynamic resolutions of Xbox One titles, to Auto HDR through machine learning and even talk of doubling the frame rate of games.
The backward compatibility team have now revealed the first example of this: Fallout 4. Originally a basic 1080p30 game, Bethesda’s RPG has had its 30fps frame rate limit removed and can run at double the frame rate on Xbox Series S.
There, that’s much better, isn’t it?
The technique to double the frame rate is something that Microsoft will implement on a case-by-case basis, as some games may not work due to the original physics or animations. Those games would require a patch and additional work to iron out the kinks, though Microsoft have also stated in the past that for many games, adding new Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X performance targets and profiles could require as few as three lines of code.
Auto HDR is a much broader enhancement, with machine learning trying to analyse each frame of the game and broaden the colours and dynamic range available – reportedly Microsoft will be disabling this in cases where it doesn’t work quite right – and “nearly all” backward compatible titles will now have 16x anisotropic filtering to improve the appearance of textures. This was previously done for select Xbox One X Enhanced games in backward compatibility.
Back to the frame rate doubling, and it’s great to see how this can improve the experience for Fallout 4 and Xbox Series S. The implication is that this will also apply to the game on Xbox Series X, but this is not yet known. Bethesda released an Xbox One X update that boosted game resolutions to 2160p. Given the sheer power of the Xbox Series X, you’d bet that it could pull the same 60fps trick at 4K, but nothing is confirmed just yet.