PlayStation 4 Pro

The 4.5 update to PlayStation 4 Pro consoles added a Boost Mode feature, which was designed to offer more processing and GPU power to existing games that weren't going to update to the more capable "enhanced" mode. For normal PS4 games, this Boost Mode offers a slight stability bump to make things look consistently good throughout the experience. There was some hope this new feature was going to offer a little something extra to PlayStation VR games as well, our research suggests that's not going to happen.

Most of the games seeing a benefit from this Boost Mode feature had been experiencing things that can't happen in PlayStation VR games. Boost Mode locks under-performing games into 30fps or 60fps performance, making the games look consistently better through all kinds of gameplay. But PlayStation VR games come with a performance mandate, they must play at either 60fps reprojected to 120fps or native at 90fps and 120fps. It's very bad for user experience, especially those prone to nausea, if the framerate in a VR game stutters, so Boost Mode was never going to help for this kind of experience.

That frame lock means the performance sacrifice in many PlayStation VR games are found in the details, and in that respect, the PlayStation 4 Pro is already enhancing your experience. Games that haven't been "enhanced" with an update already offer more visual detail on the PS4 Pro, so enabling this Boost Mode isn't an exercise in comparing the experience on two different kinds of PlayStation 4. You're essentially comparing the PS4 Pro to a slightly more GPU capable version of itself, and in our tests, there were no noticeable visual differences in the 15 games we tested with the feature on and off.

Many of the most popular PlayStation VR titles have also already updated to support the PS4 Pro "Enhanced" feature set. If you play games like Eve: Valkyrie, Eagle Flight, or Rez Infinite, you're seeing the best that these games can be offered on the PlayStation 4. It's expected that most PlayStation VR games being released moving forward will launch as Enhanced titles anyway, so this Boost Mode is unlikely to ever be measurably beneficial in the headset.

Updated September 22, 2017: We've updated this post to make sure you're getting the best possible information about boost mode.

PlayStation VR


PlayStation VR


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