DLSS 3 Latency Doesn’t Impact Player Experience, Says NFS Unbound Dev; FSR 2.2 Is in the Game, XeSS May Be Added

Alessio Palumbo
DLSS 3 Need for Speed Unbound

The latest chapter of our NVIDIA DLSS 3 developer tech talks is all about Need for Speed Unbound, out today for EA Play/EA Play Pro subscribers and users who pre-ordered the Palace Edition.

Need for Speed Unbound as a racing game is an interesting use case for DLSS 3. As we discussed in previous articles, NVIDIA's new technology can significantly boost FPS thanks to its Frame Generation component that runs independently of the CPU. However, the downside is that there is a bit of extra latency compared to DLSS 2 (Super Resolution) and Reflex, which could potentially be an issue in games that are all about precision.

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We discussed that and much more, including confirmation of AMD FSR 2.2 support in the game and additional details on the PC specs, with Andrei Shires, Criterion's Studio Technical Director. Stay tuned on Wccftech for more on Need for Speed Unbound, including our review.

What was your first impression of DLSS 3 as a developer? Do you feel that AI-based Frame Generation is the future of rendering to keep up with advanced yet taxing technologies?

Our first impression was really positive. As a game that is all about buttery smooth frame rates, this felt like a great new technology to leverage. Like any rendering technique, we want to employ the best available technology to get the best outcome for the player.

How much of an improvement does DLSS 3 introduce in your game compared to DLSS 2 (Super Resolution)?

The addition of Frame Generation allows us to hit frame rates that would not be otherwise possible with the hardware we see today. In the same way that Super Resolution allows a higher quality image, this all adds to getting more out of the software and hardware players have. That can only be a good thing.

One of the potential drawbacks of DLSS 3 is the additional latency, which would be especially egregious in a racing game. Does Frame Generation add significant latency in your implementation, or is Reflex able to cover that?

Our studio is all about a tight driving experience that would be significantly impacted by any large increase in latency. We have playtested this technology and found that it doesn't impact player experience, and in fact, having the higher framerate is a benefit that you really do notice.

Are you planning to also add support for other upscaling technologies beyond DLSS 3, such as AMD FSR 2.2 and/or Intel XeSS?

We already do support AMD FSR 2.2, which is available right now. This was a late addition that we worked hard with AMD on, and we are pleased with the results. We are currently investigating the Intel XeSS technology along with Intel for a potential future update.

Will there be any ray tracing support in Need for Speed Unbound? If not, why?

There is currently no support for ray tracing in NFS Unbound. We have focused our technical and artistic efforts on making NFS Unbound the best looking game the franchise has ever seen for everyone.

Can you share the target resolution, frame rate, and graphics preset for the minimum and recommended settings, respectively?

We have targeted min spec at 30fps @ 1080p and recommended spec at 60fps @ 1080p. However, we expect players to tweak the settings for their exact systems, and they can use both Dynamic Resolution Scaling or AI-based upscaling as appropriate to get the best look and performance possible.

Is there anything else noteworthy that you would like to share about Need for Speed Unbound's tech?

As I said above, Criterion’s focus is always on a seamless player experience with a high value placed on the game feel. We have significantly improved the overall simulation and rendering experience with Unbound, which means that players can experience tighter control of the most realistic looking cars in the franchise. This is not down to any one technology or change but is about optimizing and leveraging the overall power of the Frostbite Engine and building on the continued development of the franchise, which has taken place over multiple years.

Thank you for your time.

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