Currently in beta testing as part of the 4.50 system update
We were excited enough to hear that Sony is at long last planning external hard drive support for PlayStation 4 with its impending 4.50 update, but there’s another alluring reveal for PS4 Pro owners.
The company is beta testing a “Boost Mode” option that’s said to offer “improved gameplay, including higher frame rates, for some games that were released before the introduction of PS4 Pro.”
As you might know by now, developers have needed to make an extra effort to support Pro with their games, hence all those patches. Owning the console doesn’t give you better-looking or smoothing-running games by default, and that’s intentional as a means to keep things from going awry. But with this experimental mode, older titles that haven’t been patched for PS4 Pro could see benefits.
The obligatory Bloodborne test run, courtesy of YouTube user Erik:
Speaking to The Verge, a representative for Sony explained that Boost Mode “lets PS4 Pro run at a higher GPU and CPU clock speed in order to improve gameplay on some PS4 games that were released before the launch of PS4 Pro.” As for what to expect, “Games that have a variable frame rate may benefit from a higher frame rate, and load times may be shorter in some games too.”
Interestingly, the option also comes with a disclaimer: “Turn this off if you experience unexpected behavior during gameplay.” I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that the threat of wonkiness is unlikely to deter Pro owners who want to squeeze everything they can out of the system for better performance.
Early experiences with the mode (which some are affectionately calling “Beast Mode”) have varied, but folks with access to the 4.50 firmware update ahead of its full release have been sharing footage.
Imperfect as a solution like this is, it’s still wonderful to see. I bought my Pro with heightened performance mainly in mind, and I know I’m not alone in that decision. I’ll be curious to see which games benefit the most from Boost Mode and for tech-minded people to put everything under the microscope.