Sony has confirmed that it will bring Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support to the PlayStation 5 sometime in the future via a system software update.
The news comes from an updated system FAQ (opens in new tab) on the Official PlayStation Blog (via VGC (opens in new tab)) in which Sony confirms that the “PS5 hardware supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) through HDMI 2.1”, adding that “after a future system software update, PS5 owners will be able to use the VRR feature of compatible TVs when playing games that support VRR.”
VRR is a fairly desirable feature, particularly for the high-frame-rate-targeting next-gen consoles, as essentially it enables a TV to adjust its refresh rate in real-time to match the frame rate output by the console. The benefit of this is that it should effectively eliminate the stutters and screen tears caused by fluctuating frame rates for an altogether smoother gameplay experience.
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Bringing VRR to the PS5 isn’t an afterthought on the part of Sony—when the console’s official specs were revealed (opens in new tab) it was confirmed that VRR would be supported "specified by HDMI ver.2.1". So while it's somewhat surprising it wasn't available on day one, it's nice to know it's coming.
No more tears
Sony hasn’t said exactly when the software update that will enable VRR is coming but it seems likely that it won't want to wait too long, particularly as the feature is already supported on Xbox’s consoles, including the new Xbox Series X.
Early 2021 would perhaps be a welcome time as we start to approach a period in which we're more likely to see new PS5 games released that may want to take advantage of the feature. Of course, as Sony notes in its FAQ, making use of VRR will require a compatible TV and the games themselves will also need to support it.
The PS5 and the Xbox Series X are now available worldwide, meaning the next-generation is here. Getting a hold of one of the consoles is proving pretty difficult since both are so in-demand, with the PS5 already proving particularly popular in Japan. At TechRadar we’re keeping on top of stock availability for both PS5 and Xbox Series X to help you find the console you’re looking for so you can start your next-gen journey.
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