Sony’s latest console release, the PS4 Pro, has been criticized by consumers for not offering enough of a step forward in terms of power. While all games are required to have a “Pro” patch for release, a lot of the patches do not seem to add much outside of 4k support, and some even provide worse performance than the standard PS4. However, the beta program for the PS4 operating system has just introduced something that changes all that completely. Boost Mode, a new mode that can be enabled at will, allows games that do not have a pro patch to experience a performance boost, usually in the form of FPS. Games that dipped below their targeted 30 or 60FPS are now more likely to be consistent with their targeted framerate. It is still unclear if Sony is planning on curating these boost mode experiences, or if it is more of a “at your own risk” type of deal. I tend to think it is the latter because it seems unlikely that Sony will go back through the entire PS4 library to verify boost mode quality.
There has been some video content released from people within the beta program testing various games in boost mode, and one that stood out to me right away was the Witcher III. The Witcher III suffered from rough framedrops in major cities and in heavy combat on the PS4. With boost mode enabled on the pro, the city of Novigrad, normally a tough spot for framerate, seemed to be running at a buttery smooth 30FPS. On the other hand, a game like Bloodborne does not seem to be getting nearly the amount of performance boost people were hoping for. While it does seem to increase FPS, the already annoying frame pacing issues that plague many of From’s games was even more noticeable with Boost mode enabled. That said, this is still the beta, so for full release issues like that could be resolved.
I for one cannot wait to get my hands on the new OS update and test out Boost mode for myself, the concept is solid and really has the potential to make a Pro purchase much more palatable to people who already own an original PS4.