Sony says PS5's HDMI 2.1 VRR support will only come later

Mike Wheatley

Sony has said in an update to its PlayStation 5 FAQ that support for Variable Refresh Rate will be enabled in a future software update. It also admitted that some users may face some “challenges” playing games at 4K at 120 frames per second, which is a feature that's supported by the console out of the box.


In the update to its guidelines, Sony said the HDMI 2.1 VRR feature on the PlayStation 5 will come via a system update that will be released later, but it didn’t provide a timeline for when that will happen.

"PS5 hardware supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) through HDMI 2.1,” Sony said. “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 required feature for anyone who wants to get the best performance out of their new PS5 or Microsoft Xbox Series X consoles. It enables the TV or monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the console’s frame rate output in real-time, enabling smoother and tear-free gameplay with no judder and less input lag.

Interestingly, Sony’s wording suggests that VRR will only be supported through HDMI 2.1, which means anyone using a TV with older HDMI 2.0 ports will miss out. That has, however, not been confirmed officially at this point, but if it is it would mean the PS5 is less capable than the Xbox Series X, which will support VRR over both HDMI 2.1 (at up to 4K120fps) and HDMI 2.0 (at 4K60fps).

At least, gamers will be consoled by the fact that 4K120fps output is already enabled on the PS5 at launch for games that support it. And even better, Sony has promised to enable 8K output over HDMI 2.1 with a later system update.

On the downside though, Sony has said some users may experience difficulties in getting 4K120fps to work, due to some problems with incompatible AV receivers, soundbars and TV firmwares.

Sony is likely referring to new 8K AV receivers made by brands including Denon, Marantz and Yamaha. It was recently revealed that the chipset in those receivers contains a bug that has rendered them incapable of passing through either 4K video at 120Hz, or 8K video at 60Hz, from PS5 and Xbox Series X through the receiver to a TV or display. Sound United, which owns the Denon and Marantz brands, has said it is working on a solution to the problem.

But there may be problems with some televisions too, Sony admitted. In its FAQ, it indicated that some early PS5 titles have been patched because they were forcing 4K TVs to switch to 120fps at 1080p, instead of outputting at 4K60fps.

“Sony Interactive Entertainment is working with TV companies to find and solve problems during this transition period, but for the time being, players may experience some issues with 4K 120Hz," it said in a statement.