Here’s a quick PSA: if you own a Sony TV from the last two years, you might want to check for an update when you have a chance today. Sony’s latest software patch impacts the Sony X90J, X95J and Z9J from 2021 as well as the new X90K, X95K and Z9K from 2022. It's a huge update, especially if you’re a PS5 owner.
What the software update aims to fix is a problem that Sony TVs have when connected to a PS5 that disabled the backlight's local dimming function if variable refresh rate (VRR) was on. That caused a noticeable drop in HDR performance compared to the TV’s other modes.
The fix has been in the works for a few months now and was first spotted by hdtvtest’s Vincent Teoh, who put out a call on Twitter to see if readers could detail their experiences with the latest patch.
Sony's rolled out firmware update v6.5929 to enable local dimming in VRR mode on BRAVIA XR LED LCDs from 2021 (X90J, X95J, Z9J) & 2022 (X90K, X95K, Z9K), thus improving contrast performance during VRR gaming. I don't have any of these TVs to test, but let me know how you get on! pic.twitter.com/NwIFsjGrTOJune 29, 2022
That being said, if you own a Sony OLED or one of the lower-end Sony X85J/X85K models, you won’t be impacted by the update, as they use either a different display technology or a different processor than last year’s X90J and X95J models.
Here’s why you want VRR
Variable refresh rate allows the console’s frame rate to sync up with the television’s refresh rate, preventing screen tearing. At higher refresh rates, games will look significantly smoother and that’s one of the big selling points for the new game consoles.
Until now, however, you’ve had to take a hit in visual performance with VRR — an awful situation that put gamers between a rock and a hard place since April of this year when Sony officially enabled VRR on its TVs.
Thankfully, Sony learned from its mistake and plans on launching its new series of gaming monitors — the Inzone M9 — with G-Sync and VRR support right out of the gate. That, according to our review, makes it "great for PC and PS5 games" alike.