Home HOT PS4 back compat is being significantly enhanced by unofficial ‘FPS Boost’ mods for the PS5

PS4 back compat is being significantly enhanced by unofficial ‘FPS Boost’ mods for the PS5

PS4 back compat is being significantly enhanced by unofficial ‘FPS Boost’ mods for the PS5

Backwards compatibility on the current generation consoles brought an unexpected joy: the ability to free older console games from their 30 frames per second constraints, running them at 60 frames per second or even higher. This was achieved using FPS Boost and custom software modifications. For Xbox Series systems, FPS Boost performed well across a wide variety of games, but there was always a feeling that the PS5 was capable of more. A variety of frame-rate unlocks for PS5, spanning several must-have titles, support this suspicion. The main drawback is that only susceptible consoles running outdated firmwares are allowed to participate.

Bloodborne’s 60 frames per second has been discussed before, but that’s just the beginning. With the help of illusion, the modder who has done more than anyone to unlock performance on older PlayStation 4 titles, I’ve put together a video below that gives you an idea of how games like Red Dead Redemption 2, DriveClub, and Batman: Arkham Knight look and play when using this very unofficial form of FPS Boost.

It’s difficult to believe that Sony and independent publishers did not take more action to unlock performance on a larger selection of classic games when you see the games unfold. The PlayStation 5’s incredible capability allows for the transformation of even less popular titles like Just Cause 3 and the million-dollar success of Red Dead 2. For remasters such as Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy and Crash Team Racing Nitro Fuelled, 60 frames per second is the icing on the cake.

Why didn’t the PlayStation 5 get more 60 frames per second updates for games from the previous generation? How come Sony and other independent publishers can’t do the same if illusion can? Although the whole story is unknown at this time, it seems that in order to provide a patch that would properly update PS4 games to operate in custom performance settings on the PS5, the code had to be moved to a later Sony SDK. Additionally, developers often modified their development gear to use newer SDKs that weren’t compatible with their previous titles.

It would need support from Sony, publishers, and developers for this to become a reality. A possible solution would be for the platform owner to include features in the PS5 operating system that would prevent requests for the system-level 30 frames per second limit on certain, white-listed games. This may be comparable to one of the approaches Microsoft used with FPS Boost. If it seems very difficult to do, consider this: illusion has already succeeded in doing so. Though not all titles will function with it, most should.

Other games may not be as feasible since they would need a lot more labor. In addition to removing the frame-rate cap, Lance McDonald’s now-famous Bloodborne 60fps patch also adds support for unlocked frame-rates using code from From Software’s PS4 Pro patch for Dark Souls 3. In terms of illusion’s modifications, adjustments to DriveClub patches were also necessary to enable frame rates greater than 30 frames per second. In Batman: Arkham Knight, taking off the 30 frames per second restriction revealed a broken 60 frames per second cap that had to be turned off.

Prior to release, any formal performance increases would also need thorough quality assurance. ‘Back compat plus’ updates were made for Shadow of the Tomb Raider for Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 systems, but only because a game-breaking problem was discovered by Microsoft during the FPS Boost release. As far as we know, this patch was really created as one engineer’s last assignment before he left Square Enix.

Compatibility issues are already present for other PS4 games that are played on a PS5. During our preliminary backward compatibility testing, we discovered that Assassin’s Creed Unity’s unlocked disc version was unable to maintain 60 frames per second on the PS5, whereas it was able to do so on both Xbox Series consoles (which eventually gained support for FPS Boost). One of the three compatibility profiles that Sony has set up to make sure that games function as they should seems to be the cause of this.

One profile provides a CPU increase along with default PS4 performance. While the third profile, which is effectively a last-resort option, sets up the PS5 like a PS4 with constrained CPU clocks, the second profile is virtually a PS4 Pro setup with more CPU and GPU clocks. You can see in the video that although Just Cause 3 plays very well at 60 frames per second, its sequel is obviously being prevented from using all of the PS5’s back compat horsepower.

There are issues obviously, but you can’t help but think that there’s a ripe commercial potential here given how many PS4 titles have been improved by PS5 performance enhancements. Granted, some of these PC games currently run at 60 frames per second or higher, but console users won’t benefit from that, and platform exclusives will definitely not be included. Performance unlocks have a great deal to offer games like Shadow of the Colossus, Gravity Rush 2, and The Last Guardian, as you can see in the video above. Even native 4K support is available for The Last Guardian (via the shipping 1890p checkerboard solution). Although the game is designed to run horribly on the PS4 Pro, the additional power of the PlayStation 5 is really useful in this case.

The cherry on top? Updated titles may run on both current hardware and future consoles, if backwards compatibility continues until the tenth generation of gaming systems. So why end at 60 frames per second? Illusion has already started working on fixes that enable PS4 and even older PS5 games at 120 frames per second. Back compatibility is fantastic, but as FPS Boost expertly shown, making them even better is even more unique.


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