Latest Update makes a difference for Back Compat games


The Backwards Compatibility programme is a technical marvel – we’re huge fans and grateful that so much effort is poured into this area by Microsoft. It’s pure fan service, too. Just having over 250 Xbox 360 games – including many of our favourites – available to play on Xbox One is great.

Some Back Compat games run flawlessly, and some even better than they did on 360. Some, though, aren’t quite up to scratch. But with the latest console update this week, some of those games have received a boost.

It’s time to get technical. When things get hectic, with lots of movement an detail on screen, a console might struggle to keep up with the action. When this happens, not all of a frame gets updated each cycle – this will manifest itself as a ‘tearing’ effect, as though the top part of a page in a magazine is torn off, revealing part of the page underneath. This ‘screen tear’ is really noticeable on games that pushed the Xbox 360 to its limits – a game like Bayonetta, for example, with lots of detail and fast movement, struggled to get every frame updated each cycle.

On Backwards Compatible titles, Xbox One solves screen tearing by applying V-Sync, almost completely eliminating the distracting screen tearing effect. V-Sync basically halts the game engine momentarily, giving the console a chance to catch up drawing the pretty pictures on screen. Whilst this eliminates screen tearing, it can make control momentarily sluggish or unresponsive – most noticeable when fine but fast movement is needed, for example aiming a long range weapon in a shooter.

As confirmed on Twitter by Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra, this latest update improves v-sync across the board for Backwards Compatible titles, reducing input lag, a generally making things a lot smoother.

Have you noticed a difference? Let us know in the comments! And while we’re on the subject of Backwards Compatibility – why not take a look and see what Xbox 360 classics you could be playing right now?

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