AMD’s second-generation upscaling technology, FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0, is on its way to Xbox. Upscaling technology has already done a lot to increase our frame rates on PC at little cost to visual fidelity, but with the next release of new and improved versionis also making the jump to the console.
“We want you to be able to seamlessly port to any platform of your choice,” said Colin Riley, senior engineer for development technology (core technology group), during AMD’s recent GDC keynote explaining the technology in more depth.
FSR 2.0 is AMD’s next upscaling technology for PC and now for console. It is based on FSR 1.0 technology which is available in games like Back 4 Blood, God of War and Deathloop. It’s essentially a way to render a game at a lower resolution, get better performance, but then boost those frames to look close, if not as good, as the game would if it were running natively.
FSR 2.0 is a major update to the technology coming Q2 2022 for PC. Probably around April, we were told in a pre-briefing.
We are also announcing that FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0 will be fully supported on @Xbox and will be available in the Xbox GDK for registered developers on their upcoming games. #FSR pic.twitter.com/T7y0dKlvwdMarch 23, 2022
At GDC, AMD also explained a little more about their upcoming upscaling technology and how it works. There was great information about what to expect in between all the algorithm chat. On the one hand, FSR 2.0 will improve version 1.0 by replacing its spatial algorithm with a temporal one. Likewise, it will replace TAA antialiasing with a smoother image overall and in a way that AMD says is fast and effective.
AMD says that FSR 2.0 is not only superior to FSR 1.0, it will also be faster than some TAA antialiasing techniques, while also delivering impressive antialiasing: “FSR 2.0 is incredibly fast”.
AMD is releasing new algorithms to address some of FSR’s shortcomings as well. This includes blocking fine pixel areas to prevent flickering and features that are invisible or faded in very thin in-game features such as a chain-link fence. It’s also rolling out support for Dynamic Resolution Scaling and HDR that prevents artifacts and keeps the image sharp.
Speaking of sharpening, there is also a sharpening feature in FSR 2.0.
It will be up to the developers to implement FSR 2.0, and a GDKX sample will be made available shortly for registered Xbox developers. Whether anyone takes up AMD’s offer remains to be seen, but following AMD’s conversation at GDC, it sure seems like it shouldn’t be a big order to implement FSR 2.0.
AMD specifically made it easier for games with support for Nvidia’s competitors DLSS 2.0 Technology to implement FSR 2.0, which may not matter much on console, but could help in its release on PC massively. It says these games can work with FSR 2.0 in less than three days. It also says it shouldn’t take much longer to add FSR 2.0 to games with the UE4/UE5 plugin.
Failing any of these, games with decoupled rendering and display resolutions and that use TAA anti-aliasing should take a little longer. Followed by games without TAA and then those without the prerequisite attributes that make upscaling easier, which AMD says will take up to four weeks to resolve FSR 2.0.
As for performance, AMD has already mentioned that it expects big gains with FSR 2.0 over FSR 1.0, and doubled it in its recent GDC keynote: “FSR is incredibly competitive when it comes to performance comparisons,” continued Riley.
And it can deliver serious performance gains on Xbox consoles with RDNA 2. Xbox Series X and S-Series are powered by AMD RDNA 2 GPUs and Ryzen CPUs. How is the PlayStation 5, so you could see this technology spreading across the console landscape over time. And who doesn’t want more performance for little cost?
It all looks very promising, and while RDNA 2 is cited as running FSR 2.0 better than other GPU architectures, FSR 2.0 will work across platforms. AMD says it will work with developers to ensure that any features that slow down or don’t work as well on competing cards, or even older generations of Radeon, are disabled to ensure the best performance on any graphics card.
It definitely looks like AMD is massively stepping up its upscaling game, and we can only hope the end result is as impressive as it sounds. After all, upscaling could be one of the best ways to improve your framerate in 2022 and beyond.