Sony PS5 May Get A Firmware Update That Finally Takes Away A Key Xbox Series X Bragging Right
Those playing on Microsoft's Xbox Series X have enjoyed having one feature that Sony's PlayStation 5 players have been missing—variable refresh rate (VRR) support. It seems that the feature is going to coincide with the release of at least one of Sony's TVs launching this coming spring.
Console wars have been going on since the beginning of time. Gamers have typically been fans of one or another, and dead set against using anything else. This has led to some pretty gnarly knock down drag outs in living rooms and across social media throughout the years. The fact is, each console usually provides the gamer with something the others lack. For example, PlayStation has prided itself on its exclusives, while Microsoft has done the same with its Game Pass. At the end of the day, however, both of the next-gen consoles deliver premium gaming experiences to users with very little difference (outside of what games it may or may not play).
That said, the PS5 has been unable to pull of one of the tricks of the trade that the Xbox Series X can do. That being the utilization of an HDMI 2.1 feature to enable VRR. But there are now reports that VRR is in fact coming to the PS5 and possibly fairly soon.
In a new video that was posted on the HDTVTest YouTube Channel, host Vincent Teoh states that the new Sony TVs that are set to launch this Spring will support VRR, this includes Sony's A90K TV. It will also coincide with the imminent arrival of VRR support on PlayStation 5 via a firmware upgrade.
Not too long after the release of the PS 5, Sony confirmed that the console's hardware supports VRR through HDMI 2.1, but will only be possible to access the feature after a future firmware update.
So, what is VRR exactly? Simply put, it allows a TV to adjust its refresh rate in real-time to the frame rate output by a games console or PC. This is typically referred to in the PC space as FreeSync (AMD) and G-Sync (NVIDIA).
Unlike a movie or show you are watching on TV that runs at a consistent frame rate, the frame rate for a game is constantly changing depending on the amount of processing that is taking place. So, when you are standing outside of a city and there is not much movement and detail to process you will probably see your frames get higher than when you are in the city with a lot of moving objects and details to compute. But if you are standing outside a city and all of a sudden there is an explosion, it will cause the console to work much harder and cause the frame rate to drop suddenly. These constant and sudden changes in frame rate can cause stutter and tearing on displays that run at static refresh rates, which is the vast majority of them.
That is where VRR comes in. A TV that supports VRR will dynamically match its refresh rate to the frame rate of the game, keeping pace with all of these changes. This results in smoother, more consistent gameplay. To this point, Sony has not announced a date for the release of the firmware that will include VRR.
Get those credit cards ready if you own a PlayStation 5 and want to start utilizing the benefits of VRR. You will obviously want to get your hands on one of Sony's new 4K TVs or another HDMI 2.1 capable TV or monitor that actually supports VRR to play all your games on, if you don't already have a display that supports it. Regardless, this should be good news to PS5 owners and another aspect that can be put to rest in the console war once both consoles offer it.