Microsoft is set to introduce a 50Hz mode in the upcoming March system patch for its Xbox One console in the UK (and other European PAL regions).
This news comes from Xbox One owners who have been beta testing the update.
The 50Hz option is being implemented to help with the judder-free playback of 50Hz TV content. The likes of Sky, BT and Virgin Media all broadcast 50Hz content, so the UK Xbox One will be able to switch to more smoothly deal with displaying TV shows – which is obviously important considering how Microsoft is pushing the console as the be-all-and-end-all media hub for the living room.
According to Pocket Lint, the console automatically switches to 50Hz mode to avoid dropped frames when full screen TV content is being played (not snapped apps, mind), and then switches back to 60Hz when you head off to play a game (or whatever else).
There’s plenty more coming in the update, of course, as details were spilled on the NeoGaf forum. More media goodness is being added in the form of Dolby Digital support (though this really should have been in from the get-go), and Twitch streaming. The patch will also tweak the Kinect’s voice support, and give users the ability to disable hand gestures for the motion sensor.
This update is the famous pre-Titanfall one we’ve talked about before, as it sets the stage for Microsoft’s big game release coming on 14 March, adding new multiplayer functionality (as Titanfall is a multiplayer mech shooter).
Redmond has also cut the price of the Xbox One bundled with Titanfall to £399, a £30 price drop to bring it closer to the PlayStation 4’s £350 price tag. The PS4 has raced into a sales lead – and has recently been launched in Japan which will doubtless further spike the numbers – so Microsoft definitely has to do something.
Titanfall (plus a price cut) may prove quite the carrot, though, as the game has been widely praised by the press and beta testers. We shall see…