Early titles on the Universal Windows Platform have been rendered hard to play because of low framerates, thanks to a mandatory feature that locks the framerate, but Microsoft says it is listening to user feedback and is fixing the issue.
Microsoft has made plenty of decisions that have alienated users in the past, but more recently the company has displayed a willingness to make amends and change things that customers do not like.
Indeed, this was one of the things the company was eager to focus on at the Game Developers Conference last week, saying “we’re listening to feedback”.
That listening also includes taking heat for a controversial party, but in terms of hardware and software Microsoft is making good on its mantra.
While the Universal Windows Platform has been widely praised, there are things users would change and Microsoft said it is fixing one of them, namely a framerate lock that hinders UWP gaming.
The gripe in question involves a “feature” that locks the framerate on a title to the preset refresh rate of a monitor screen, with users unable to turn the lock off. Some of the first titles in the UWP project have started landing on Windows 10 and users are getting frustrated by the framerate lock which caps games like Gears of War: Ultimate Edition to 30 frames-per-second.
Needless to say, that lowly framerate causes problem for a game that has a lot of moving action and fluid motion, leaving a stuttering experience. Some gamers have already criticized UWP as a ploy for Microsoft to remove choice from the market, so the lack of an off function for the framerate lock is adding fuel to the fire, rightly or wrongly.
A Fix is Coming
Microsoft understands fears and is working quickly to make sure gamers feel at ease by UWP, which the company actually says frees up the gaming space by making everything easier and more accessible. At GDC last week, Xbox Product Manager, Jason Ronald, confirmed that the company was aware of consumer worries and that a fix for the framerate lock is inbound.
“Some of the early feedback we’ve gotten from the first wave of UWP-enabled games is that people don’t like that v-sync is locked to the refresh rate of the monitor or that there’s a lack of support for Gsync and Freesync options that intelligently output rendered images onto a monitor at the same rate as that graphics card.
We’ve taken that feedback, and we’re actively working on fixes that we’re testing with some of our first-party studios. We’ll be shipping these later this year.
We’re listening to feedback. We say that all the time to the public and the gamer audience, but it’s true of developers as well. Feedback from developers and gamers is critical to our success. It directly affects our priorities and our roadmap.”