Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Microsoft starts tackling game developer complaints in Universal Windows apps

Forza Motorsport 6: Apex is one of the first big-name UWP games. (credit: Microsoft/Turn 10)

Microsoft has been pushing developers to build applications for the Windows Store and the Universal Windows Platform and has come under fire from both gamers and game developers for some of the restrictions that the platforms impose. In particular, UWP games have been unable to disable v-sync and are not able to use either Nvidia's G-sync or AMD's Freesync technology.

Later today, Microsoft will be publishing an update to Windows 10 that removes this constraint and gives the UWP games the ability to update at whichever refresh rate they choose.

Until now, UWP has required that games enable v-sync, tying their frame rates to the screen's refresh rate. V-sync can reduce the presence of certain visual artifacts—it prevents a phenomenon called tearing, wherein the top half of the screen shows one frame and the bottom half of the screen shows a different, newer frame—but it also limits the frame rate that applications can run at. G-sync and Freesync are two technologies that allow monitors to vary their refresh rates dynamically so that the monitor can keep pace with the game's frame rate, even when the game's frame rate is very high (typically up to about 144fps) or very low (down to around 30fps). With these systems, one can have the benefits of enabling v-sync—no tearing—without the restrictions on frame rate that the feature normally implies.

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