The next PlayStation firmware update, currently available in beta form, allows the PS4 Pro to use its full power to improve the performance of titles which have not yet been patched. In theory, any PS4 game can now take advantage of the more powerful hardware, it’s called PS4 Pro Boost Mode.
Although hidden away in the options menu, and accompanied by a warning which states that it may not work perfectly on all titles, the new menu option is a big deal for the mid-cycle console upgrade. It could boost the sales of both the hardware itself and those games which benefit most from the new mode.
Some more details on the mode itself first. The PS4 Pro has roughly double the graphics power of the standard model. By allowing the new console to utilise this, many older titles will run smoother and in some cases will look better too. It will largely benefit titles that struggled to hit their performance targets, games which failed to hit a consistent 30fps or 60fps target, which would likely have affected their critical coverage. Titles which use resolution scaling to hit a locked frame rate should also benefit by being able to maintain a higher resolution more consistently.
It’s a big win for the PS4 Pro itself, as dedicated fans of franchises that haven’t received updates may now have a reason to invest in the new console. In addition, PS4 Pro owners are already being tempted by a bevy of YouTube videos, in which influencers are testing the new patch and finding the titles that benefit the most.
Titles that have already been marked-out as improved include a number of big hitters: Bloodborne and The Witcher 3 both run smoother, but it’s arguably smaller titles, such as Just Cause 3 and Evil Within, that are more likely to benefit from a resurgence in interest, and are priced appropriately to attract consumers with a passing interest.
With Scorpio on the horizon, the PS4 Pro needed a bit of push, and boost mode looks to be just the thing to perk up consumer interest in what is traditionally a rather slow period of the year.