A new PS5 update is rolling out this week, which will bring variable refresh rate (VRR, too short) to Sony’s console – a feature that will improve the performance of various PS5 games.
The news comes as a surprise as Sony has previously stated that VRR support would arrive in the “months ahead”. However, it seems that the company has managed to speed up the process and revealed on the PlayStation blog that VRR support is coming to every PS5 this week.
VRR is a long-awaited feature that has topped the wish lists of PS5 owners who have compatible monitors, especially as both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have long embraced display technology.
As outlined by Sony, VRR requires a compatible TV and PC monitor with HDMI 2.1. VRR is a common feature of the best TVs, and it primarily helps eliminate screen tearing that occurs when your TV’s image refresh rate is out of sync with the game you’re playing. With the PS5 VRR update, your TV’s screen syncs with the console output to stop any screen from tearing apart without affecting game performance.
However, this is not all that VRR can do: it also helps combat other common screen issues, especially in games with the notch or frame rate drop. It can also help lower input latency so games feel more responsive.
Some PS5 games will receive specific optimization fixes for VRR. Fortunately, Sony has already announced a fairly significant selection:
Insomniac Games also has announced that VRR support is coming this week to a number of their games, meaning that Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales will be some of the first to get patches.
According to Insomniac, those who use VRR on a 120Hz monitor will get a variable, unlimited frame rate that can exceed your chosen graphics mode target of 30 or 60 fps by 50% or more (depending on gameplay).
Arkane Studio, developers of Deathloop, have also announced that VRR support is coming to the time-looping shooter, which should provide smoother performance and tackle any screen tearing.
We are pleased to announce that DEATHLOOP supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) on PS5! When VRR arrives on your PS5 console, you can check out this support page for full details on how to enable this new feature. 🔗https: //t.co/JV04KgJ7fA https://t.co/It4FH7q8ieApril 25, 2022
Of course, not all games will receive a VRR-specific patch, but that does not mean that they can not take advantage of the technology. Users will be able to apply VRR to “unsupported games” at the system level, which – in theory – should benefit all titles. However, if unexpected visual effects occur, you can always turn this off.
It is worth noting that games that have a frame rate below 40fps tend not to take advantage of VRR. 30fps titles, for example, will fall under the usual VRR window, where technology sets in to help smooth out gameplay. This means that a game like Bloodborne, which has a notoriously choppy frame rate of 30 fps, will not benefit it.
Something like Ghostwire Tokyo, which has several high frame rate modes, the majority of which are either unstable or exhibit screen tearing, will greatly benefit from VRR.
A great feature, but there’s one more left
We are happy that the PS5 is finally getting VRR support, especially since we thought we would have to wait a few months before it arrived. However, one major feature is still missing on the PS5, and that is 1440p support.
When connected to a 1440p monitor, the PS5 emits only at 1080p, though with downscaling. While this helps provide a sharp 1080p image, users who own a 1440p monitor and have a PS5 connected will miss out on 78% of pixels by being locked to 1080p.
This is a huge oversight, especially since many PS5 owners might be using a 1440p screen. Hopefully this issue will be resolved sooner or later as it is a feature that has been available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S for a number of years.
To learn more about variable refresh rate, check out our ‘What is VRR?’ guide that breaks down all the things you need to know about screen technology.