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Powerful “boost mode” for old games hidden in latest PlayStation 4 update

Why it matters to you

"Boost mode" may give PS4 Pro owners something new to fawn over, and standard PS4 owners another reason to upgrade.

It wasn’t on Sony’s official list of new features for the PlayStation 4’s version 4.50 update, but the console just got a new “boost mode,” along with other additions. The PS4 boost mode is designed to help older games run better on the newest and most powerful PS4 hardware, the PS4 Pro.

Users who have access to the 4.50 beta and a PS4 Pro can check the new feature out in their console’s settings menu under the new “boost mode,” which has been confirmed. A Sony spokesperson provided a statement on its function to The Verge.

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 … Games that have a variable frame rate may benefit from a higher frame rate, and load times may be shorter in some games too,” Sony explained.

The boost mode isn’t perfect. Apparently, it can cause some “unexpected behavior,” and it won’t affect all old PS4 games equally (or at all). Meanwhile users are congregating on sites like neoGAF to test the feature out. One early YouTube video claimed Just Cause 3, an open world action game released in 2015, benefits so much from boost mode that it “seems like a whole new game.”

The 4.50 update also includes support for external hard drives, custom home screen backgrounds, the option to manually post to the PlayStation Network activity feed, 3D movie support in PlayStation VR, and improvements to the quick menu accessed by holding the PlayStation button on the PS4 controller. The update is available now to users signed up for the PS4 beta program (which is closed to new users unfortunately), and will roll out to all PS4 users at a later date.