You've never watched YouTube quite like this: today the company began rolling out support for higher video frame rates like 60fps. We've seen movie trailers and other special clips appear with higher fps counts before, but now it works for regular user uploads, too. To see the smoother motion, you'll need to be watching in either 720p or 1080p HD. Both Chrome and Safari 8 worked fine in our tests, but we're seeing mixed results with mobile browsers. Once you hit play, the difference is immediate and hugely noticeable — especially when you're watching video game footage.
There are plenty of situations where faster frame rates can make a huge difference, but it's easy to spot the upgrade with gaming content. For years, YouTube uploads have been capped at around 30fps, which looks perfectly fine when watching most types of video, but falls short with games. When you're playing a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Wii U through your television, the frame rate is always much higher than what YouTube's been able to display — until now.
Finally YouTube can show those clips at their native frame rate. Kotaku points to the above Mario Kart 8 as demo footage, and rightly so: it looks amazing. Watch for long enough and you might start wondering why there's not a controller in your hand.
60 FPS: Motion-intense videos will look even better on @YouTube when we launch support for 48 and even 60 frames per second, coming soon.— YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) June 27, 2014
Back in June, YouTube promised that it would add 48fps and 60fps playback support for "motion-intense" videos uploaded to the service, but it's kept relatively quiet on the matter since. But now it would appear that smoother frame rates are here. Other videos published today (such as the below Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze clip) also exhibit 60fps playback.