Sony’s upcoming firmware update for the PlayStation 4 is set to include a brand new system setting called the “Boost Mode,” a Polygon report confirms. Screenshots of PS4 Pro models running the newest firmware version confirm the existence of the option which is said to improve the performance of older games that were not really designed to be played on the new PS4 Pro. Screenshots of the new “Boost Mode” were posted by several PS4 owners who were part of the beta testing team for the new firmware version 4.50. After the images had been widely shared, a Sony representative confirmed that the company was indeed working on the new 4.50 update with the aforementioned boost mode.
Sony describes the boost mode on the new PS4 software update as follows,
“Boost Mode lets PS4 Pro run at a higher GPU and CPU clock speed for smoother gameplay on some PS4 games that were released before the launch of PS4 Pro (and has not been updated to support PS4 Pro). Games that have a variable frame rate may benefit from a higher frame rate, and load times may be shorter in some games too.”
The Boost mode option within the setting menu also talks in brief about the “improved gameplay” and higher frame rates that would be on offer once you turn it on.
“Experience improved gameplay, including higher frame rates, for some games that were released before the introduction of PS4 Pro (CUH-7000 series). Turn this off if you experience unexpected behaviour during gameplay.”
PS4 Firmware 4.50 ~ PS4 Pro Boost Mode english screenshot pic.twitter.com/7ttmK4UBnd
— AllGamesDelta (@AllGamesDelta) February 3, 2017
The PS4 Pro is Sony’s newest gaming console that was released in November 2016. More than twice as powerful as the original PS4 model, the PS4 Pro brings several updates to the table, including support for 4K rendering/streaming and improved VR performance. The PS4 Pro also houses an upgraded GPU which now boasts of 4.2 teraflops of processing power. The CPU now runs at a higher clock speed. While the new improvements look promising, one major caveat you need to be aware of before upgrading to the new model is the following.
‘New PS4 Pro “Boost Mode” could improve even unmodified titles’: https://t.co/Mra1ir5PHk
— Technieuws (@Technieuws) February 3, 2017
While the PS4 Pro is backward compatible with all the games that older PS4 models play, for the games to offer the full capability of the new hardware on the PS4 Pro, developers are required to patch them with added support for the new console. Once the games are patched, things should be back to normal. What this also essentially means is that gameplay with unpatched games on the PS4 Pro will be similar to older PS4 models, effectively turning the new hardware becoming practically useless for older, unpatched games. This is where the new Boost Mode comes into play.
— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) February 3, 2017
While it would be some time before you get to officially see the Boost Mode in action, there are several videos already on YouTube talking about the mode and showing the differences in gameplay. A few videos showing gameplay while the boost mode was enabled are embedded below.
Initial impressions are that the boost mode will only translate to better frame rates and loading times for older titles. For more visible additions, gamers will need to wait for official software patches to be released by the respective game developers. Another key addition to the features list with this upcoming update is the fact that it will also enable support for external hard drives to all PS4 models. You will also be able to watch 3D Blu-rays in PSVR (PlayStation VR).
Are you planning to upgrade to the PS4 Pro anytime soon?
[Featured Image by Charnsitr/Shutterstock]