Sony announced today that the next major software update for the PlayStation 4 will be released tomorrow, March 9. The console’s 4.5 update is highly anticipated as it will enable a new Boost Mode feature for PlayStation 4 Pro users and also add support for external hard drives.
Boost Mode aims to improve the quality and performance of games that have not been directly patched or upgraded by the developer for the PlayStation 4 Pro. Update 4.5 has been in beta testing for more than a month and multiple users have reported higher framerates and smoother gameplay when Boost Mode is enabled on a wide variety of different titles.
“This can provide a noticeable frame rate boost to some games with variable frame rates, and can provide frame rate stability for games that are programmed to run at 30 Hz or 60 Hz,” Sony said in a statement. “Depending on the game, the increased CPU speed may also result in shorter load times.”
PlayStation 4 Pro owners can turn the new feature on starting tomorrow by going to Settings > System. That said, Sony also made clear that Boost Mode is “not guaranteed to work” with all PS4 titles. Gamers are encouraged to turn Boost Mode off if they encounter any issues that seem to make the experience worse than playing a game on a standard PlayStation 4.
Digital Foundry tested a wide range of games running on Boost Mode a few weeks ago and found that some titles, like The Evil Within will still struggle if the game was already known to have serious framerate issues on a standard PS4. The games most likely to benefit from the boost are titles that were already well-optimized by the developer for the standard console.
The other much-hyped feature coming with tomorrow’s update is the ability to plug an external hard drive into the PS4. The PlayStation 4 will offer plug and play functionality with any USB 3.0 hard drive.
The update will also bring a variety of other updates and fixes to PS4, including support for voice chat for Remote Play on a Windows PC, Mac or an Xperia device. In addition, PlayStation VR users will be happy to know the update includes a tweak that will make 2D images look better on the VR headset. Finally, Sony is also bringing some updates to Sony’s official PlayStation-branded iOS and Android apps, like the ability to quickly send a message to a friend on PS Messages if you receive an invite to play a game.
Source: PlayStation Blog