PS5 is missing these killer features — and Xbox Series X has them

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Update: Sony has confirmed that VRR support is coming to PS5 "in the months ahead" of March 2022.

The PS5 comes with an awful lot of features packed into that not-so tiny shell, but the closer we get to release day the more we’re finding out about what the console doesn’t have. And it seems there’s quite a bit.

The latest news is that the PS5 is missing support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, and won’t be supporting 8K and Variable Refresh Rates (VRR) out of the box.

The news about Dolby Atmos and Vision comes from a new PS5 FAQ, which details all the different standards the PS5 can support. While alternative HDR and audio formats are supported, including HDR10, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD, there’s nothing about Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

Considering the Xbox Series X and the cheaper Xbox Series S both support Dolby Vision and Atmos, among other things, it’s a serious blow to the PS5’s capabilities. More so when you consider that the FAQ also doesn’t mention any support for HDR10+, Dolby Vision’s biggest competitor in the world of HDR standards. 

Thankfully the PS5 does support HDR10, which means you will get to enjoy the most common type of HDR.

The news about 8K and VRR comes from Digital Foundry, though this isn’t entirely bad news. The console is supposed to support 8K video resolution, but testing showed that the console peaks at 4K resolution with no option to change that in the settings. Likewise there’s no visible way to take advantage of VRR or Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). In other words there’s no way to control the console’s refresh rate. 

The Xbox Series X supports the latter two out of the box, though it too limits resolution to 4K despite advertising otherwise. According to Microsoft (via What HiFi) support will only come as 8K becomes a more widely adopted format, which it currently isn’t. It sucks for those who coughed up the money for an 8K display, but unfortunately you’re still in the minority and this issue isn't going to affect most gamers.

Hopefully a simple software should solve those particular issues on both consoles, but for the time being it’s not a great look for the PS5 to be missing out on features that the Xbox Series X gets to enjoy. With console generations getting longer and longer, it’s important that Microsoft and Sony try and plan ahead to ensure their machines are future-proofed.

Because, let’s be honest, we don’t want to spend $500 on a console, only to have a Pro version arrive with essential features three or four years down the line.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.

  • PanicAtNabisco
    Is Dolby Vision something that could potentially be added in an update down the road? Or will they bother? Sony not trying to cannablize their bluray player sales (where they do offer Dolby Vision)?