Microsoft unlocks framerates for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) games and apps

Unlocked framerates and other changes have come about as a result of developer feedback.

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Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform—a toolset that allows developers to streamline software to run on any Windows 10 device—is flexible. With it, any Xbox One owner will be able to flip a switch and turn their consumer-grade console into a development kit.

At the same time, Microsoft's UWP is somewhat inflexible. Since its introduction in 2015, developer such as Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney have taken both UWP and Microsoft to task for omitting integral features such as support for VR games and taking measures to, in Sweeney's words, baking in features exclusive to UWP that developers can use "only if you submit to the control of our locked-down UWP ecosystem. They’re curtailing users’ freedom to install full-featured PC software, and subverting the rights of developers and publishers to maintain a direct relationship with their customers" (per Gamasutra).

In a new DirectX Developer Blog, Microsoft's Bryan Langley has attempted to put developers at ease by broadcasting a clear message: "We're listening, and acting."

As one of the principal program managers at Microsoft, Langley is in the perfect position to back up his words with actions. Case in point: Windows 10 will receive an update that will unlock framerates in UWP games and apps, and add support for AMD’s Freesync and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC, protocols meant to sync up frames to reduce tearing.

"Once applications take advantage of these new features, you will be able to play your UWP games with unlocked frame rates," Langley wrote. "We expect Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and Forza Motorsport 6: Apex to lead the way by adding this support in the very near future."

The update to Windows 10 will be deployed later today, or you can grab it from Microsoft here.

Langley and the rest of the DirectX and UWP teams are already looking ahead to more technical advancements. "You can expect to see some exciting developments on multiple GPUs in DirectX 12 in the near future, and a truly impressive array of DirectX 12 titles later this summer and fall," he said.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      May 10, 2016 4:20 PM

      ...yaaaay.... Why would you even lock framerates in the first place? Any programmers care to justify?

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        May 10, 2016 4:30 PM

        I think it was just a left over effect of xbox one porting

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        May 10, 2016 4:31 PM

        Extra Credits actually covered this, so go through this first.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL5kOyHWI_E

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          May 10, 2016 4:54 PM

          Thanks Rom!

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          May 10, 2016 5:04 PM

          The specific reason is because UWP apps were rendered in the context of the desktop and the desktop is always vsynced because you don't want to see tearing on your desktop.

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            May 10, 2016 5:11 PM

            So does that mean the desktop now gets GYNC/FreeSync?

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              May 10, 2016 5:20 PM

              There's no point. The desktop refreshes at whatever rate you set it to.

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          May 10, 2016 6:43 PM

          I cannot understand why a person would not want to use vsync. Tearing drives me absolutely apeshit and it is blatantly obvious when it happens.

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            May 10, 2016 7:01 PM

            Input lag.

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            May 10, 2016 7:11 PM

            Input lag gives me headaches. It's just frustrating when you move the mouse and it takes forever to move.

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            May 10, 2016 7:12 PM

            Input lag

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              May 10, 2016 7:14 PM

              So obviously it's a tradeoff between tearing and input lag. I guess I don't notice the input lag all that much or my brain compensates for it but I just can't get over the tearing. It distorts the image so bad.

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                May 10, 2016 7:15 PM

                Depends on what you play. I never enable that for action games.

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                May 10, 2016 7:21 PM

                I normally lower the graphics enough to get crazy high fps not to notice it. Its one of the reason why I cringe at fps caps, since lowering the settings doesn't make a difference.

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            May 10, 2016 7:19 PM

            it drives me absolutely bonkers, too, but I've encountered plenty of people who don't even notice it over the years, so, well, different strokes for different folks

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            May 10, 2016 7:23 PM

            I doubt anyone can perceive the extra latency. That it cuts your frame rate to 30 fps too often is the main reason people choose not to use it (or the internet just tells them not to)

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            May 10, 2016 7:26 PM

            Yeah if a game has bad tearing vsync takes priority over any input lag (of which I've yet to notice)

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            May 10, 2016 8:21 PM

            Same here. I would rather have input lag.

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            May 10, 2016 8:49 PM

            Good PC games will manipulate their frame buffers well enough to minimize input lag. DICE actually did such a good job with BF4 that I play vsynced 75 fps and it feels great. Titanfall on the other hand, not so much

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      May 11, 2016 1:40 AM

      now they need to hide the mouse cursor when using a gamepad and make it easier to play Win10 games through steam and I'm happy

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