Microsoft Rolls Out Xbox April Update: FreeSync And Moreby Brett Howse on April 25, 2018 11:00 PM EST
- Posted in
- Xbox One
- Xbox One X
Although we’ve not yet gotten an official launch date for the latest version of Windows 10, Microsoft’s Xbox team has once again beat them to the punch with a new version of the console OS called the April Xbox Update. Apparently, they’ve not been able to come up with anything more “creative” this time for a name, but it’s April, so it works.
Although this isn’t a major UI revamp like some of the previous updates, there are some interesting features coming to the Xbox One with this update, including support for some new video features, of which the most notable is likely FreeSync support. PC gamers already know the advantages of variable refresh rates on display output smoothness, so it’s great to see it come to the console as well. Xbox One will support FreeSync and FreeSync 2 across the entire device lineup – including the original Xbox One. You’ll of course need a FreeSync certified display, and it will need to support FreeSync over HDMI, so while the pickings are slim at the moment, the feature is here now. It’ll be interesting to see this in action if we can get a display though, since the target refresh rate of most Xbox games is 30 FPS, unlike the PC.
Also on the video side, the Xbox team has added support for the 2560x1440 display resolution on both the Xbox One X and Xbox One S. If you’re someone who runs an Xbox on a PC display, this gives an option for a higher resolution for media, and if you’re using the Xbox One X, you can also game at 1440p if the game supports it.
Finally, Xbox is adding support for Auto Low-Latency Mode, which will tell your television when you’re playing a game, so it can switch the display mode to what’s normally called Game Mode on the television, but then automatically switch back to the normal mode for media.
Microsoft is also updating their Mixer streaming service to include the ability to share control of a game with a user on Mixer.com, where a virtual controller will allow them to input commands, or they can plug in an Xbox controller to their PC to control it that way.
Along with sharing gameplay to Mixer, Xbox now lets you share screenshots and clips directly to Twitter as well, through the Broadcasting and Capture tab, which is a nice addition.
Microsoft has also added the ability to selectively balance game audio against background music within the Guide, so if you want your streaming music louder or softer, it’s much easier to adjust on the fly, simply by opening the guide and opening that app.
Along with that, audio has also been updated on the dashboard itself to support spatial audio, so if your receiver supports spatial audio, and you have the sound system to play it, actions on the dashboard should now match what you see on-screen.
Xbox One has seen a tremendous number of features since it was launched, and this update seems a bit small in comparison to the additions of backwards compatibility, or a dashboard overhaul, but regardless, the new features are requests from users, and they are likely happy to see them.
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Diji1 - Monday, April 30, 2018 - linkG-sync uses a superior solution to reduce frame tearing and you cannot make any display you want G-sync - displays must pass quality standards set by Nvidia.
xeroshadow - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - link"displays must pass quality standards set by Nvidia."
Thus the increased cost to the consumer.
wumpus - Thursday, April 26, 2018 - linkWell, freesync is halfway there. Now all they need is to get into the TVs (wasn't it supposed to be there already? I understand GPP clubing the cardmakers in line, but TV makers is a bit odd).
A quick check of Amazon for "TV freesync" includes plenty of 24" and ~30" ultra-wide monitors, but little in the way of your 30-40" 4K TVs that might just get 60Hz in 4K (and no more. But for such beasts a little freesync should go a long way).
I've lusted over the over large, 4K, under priced (and probably undersynced, but that appears to be fixed in a few units, but no freesync) TVs and wondering how they would work as monitors. I'm guessing that freesync is nice, but 4K will push a Vega out of freesync territory (under 60Hz) and Vegas are still overpriced and underpowered.
lowphas - Monday, April 30, 2018 - linkMany 2018 Samsung tv-s will do support VRR (freesync), and it is good to have this feature even between 30 to 60 hz range. Many 4k games on xbox one x cannot do 60 fps properly so they locked the frame rate to 30 fps to match an even ratio between the tv panel update frequency and the game fps to avoid artifacts. In this scenario it is nice to have a working vrr to reach the maximum performance of the console. 4k@30fps games can/could run around 40-45 fps on oneX. It can be a nice touch to have this working.