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YouTube unlocks 60fps video playback, gamers rejoice

Tom Morgan
30 Oct 2014
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The floodgates have opened for 60p video uploads, with YouTube already flooded with silky smooth gaming clips

YouTube has finally enabled 60p playback for uploaded videos, letting anyone add their own clips at 60 frames per second or watch others' uploads at a silky smooth frame rate. The compny had originally promised to enable 60p playback back in June, adding support for higher frame rate uploaded in the Creator Studio upload tool, but the company waited until last night to finally flip the switch.

Of all the content found on YouTube, high frame rate footage filmed with action cameras like GoPros and footage from games are set to benefit the most. Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U owners will attest that the frame rate they get on a console at home was always much higher than what YouTube was capable of, but that finally changed today.

Game trailers in particular, which are regularly revealed at trade shows running at 60fps, have in the past been forced back down to 30p before being uploaded to YouTube; now, developers will be able to get the full version straight into gamers' homes. One of our current favourites, the reveal trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, looks absolutely stunning running at 60 frames per second (see below).

So far, it doesn't look as though 60fps uploads have made their way to mobile browsers; we tried watching clips on a smartphone and a tablet with the latest version of the YouTube app, but clips would only play at 30fps. Desktop web browsers seem fine, though, with both Chrome and Safari showing options for 60p playback. 60fps playback appears to be enabled by default on 720p and 1080p playback, as long as the video you're watching was originally uploaded at the right frame rate. It's immediately noticeable in game video clips and footage, with animations looking much smoother than they otherwise would at 30fps. 

YouTube is already one of the highest consumers of bandwidth on the internet, and it remains to be seen whether doubling the frame rate will have a major impact on the amount of bandwidth the service consumes in the future.