PlayStation 5 Will Get Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) Support in the Coming Months, Confirms Sony
Variable Refresh Rate is a technological solution developed mainly to combat screen tearing and stuttering in games. When the refresh rate of your monitor does not match the FPS your GPU is pumping out, it can create visible artifacts that happen due to a frame being pushed out of the frame buffer before it’s supposed to. If that frame isn’t ready (fully rendered) then the previous frame will be held on screen for longer than that is supposed to which, in turn, causes screen tearing.
VRR is the answer to this. In essence, it forces the display itself to change the frame rate to be in sync with the frame rate of a game. It does so dynamically which means that the refresh rate will keep adjusting itself constantly to remain in sync with the frame rate, eliminating screen tearing and screen-pacing issues entirely. VRR is also known as V-Sync and is the basis of technologies like NVIDIA‘s G-Sync and AMD‘s FreeSync, the latter of which is supported not only by the latest Xbox Series X|S consoles, but also last-gen Xbox One X and S consoles.
VRR has been available on PCs for years at this point and is not a luxury that only high-end computers can avail. However, this console generation will be the first-ever to take advantage of it. As mentioned, Xbox Series X|S launched with VRR support in terms of FreeSync. Displays compatible with FreeSync can therefore benefit from this technology and provide a smoother and interruption-free gaming experience to players.
VRR on PlayStation 5
The same, however, cannot be said for PlayStation users. Not only did the PlayStation 5 not launch with any VRR support, it has been more than a year since it has remained without it, and Sony is saying that it’s still months away at this point. That being said, at least now we have official confirmation from Sony itself that VRR is, indeed, coming to the PlayStation 5, even if it’s later rather than sooner.
In the most recent firmware update for PlayStation 4 and 5 systems, the company has confirmed that VRR is on the way and a future update will bring it to PS5s around the world. Sony clarified that only HDMI 2.1 displays would work with VRR and pre-existing games would likely be patched to include support for VRR on PlayStation 5, along with all future games already launching with it from day one.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the Video Output settings on the PS5 will look like this in the future where there will be an option to enable VRR. However, right below the toggle, you can see another option saying “Apply to Unsupported Games“. That feature will do exactly what is sounds like it will, apply VRR to games that don’t have support for it. This may result in janky performance or unexpected issues in those games, but VRR will still be there to improve the overall experience without the need for a patch from the developers.
With this future update, both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S will now have VRR support on HDMI 2.1 displays, making the tech that much more attractive to customers. VRR can make a huge difference in certain games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, where screen tearing is a noticeable issues on console. Since the PS5 is also kitted with AMD graphics like the Xbox Series, we expect that Sony will enable FreeSync support on its console.