Although not every game takes advantage of the extra power of the PlayStation PS4 Pro, most will soon be forced to do so with the release of Update 4.5. According to beta testers for the new system patch, Update 4.5 will include a feature called ‘Boost Mode’ that helps any game run better on the PS4 pro console.
It’s interesting to note that Sony did not detail Boost Mode in its blog post for Update 4.5, choosing instead to focus on external HDD support and the ability to customize wallpapers. Perhaps Boost Mode is not a guaranteed feature for PS4 Update 4.5 and Sony is merely testing to see if it actually “works.”
For those that are curious, Boost Mode will apparently improve gameplay for titles that were released prior to the PS4 Pro’s debut at the end of last year. Mileage will vary based on the game, but one of the improvements highlighted by the Boost Mode description is higher frame rates.
On average, most console games run at 30 frames per second and a resolution of 1080p, but this boost mode could help push games closer to the 60fps standard seen in PC games. For some, seeing a game running at 60fps can make all the difference, while others are perfectly content with 30fps. Perhaps this boost mode might change their mode, assuming its “boosting” is actually noticeable.
The official line from Sony (via Polygon) is 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.
Without testing it in-house, there’s no way of knowing if the feature will even make noticeable improvements to games, as some of the games with baked in PS4 Pro support don’t perform markedly better than their regular PS4 counterparts. It’s really the 4K and HDR that make a difference on the PS4 Pro, not necessarily a couple extra frames per second.
Even so, new features on the PS4 are always welcome, and if Boost Mode does make some older games run noticeably better that’s encouraging. If that’s true, gamers can also expect someone to make a resource outlining the changes on older PS4 games, presumably highlighting which ones are worth re-playing on a PS4 Pro.
As far as Update 4.5 is concerned, the latest console patch has only just been revealed and is out now to beta testers. When it will hit regular PS4 users isn’t yet clear, but Sony says it will say more about additional features and a release date in the coming weeks.