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PS5 is getting one of Xbox Series X's best features

Sony PS5 on a table next to a TV
(Image credit: Future)

The PS5 is about to get a major upgrade that will help it better compete with the Xbox Series X. Sony has confirmed that Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support is coming, with a release planned to take place “in the months ahead."

This news comes direct from the PlayStation blog (opens in new tab), alongside information about the latest PS5 and PS4 software updates. Sony has confirmed that the setting will be available on HDMI 2.1-compatible TVs and monitors, dynamically syncing the display’s refresh rate in accordance with the console’s output.

There are significant advantages to adding VRR support. By allowing the best TVs to adjust the refresh rate in real time, and match the game’s output, you get smoother and crisper graphics. This means changing frame rates don’t stutter and tear at the screen, while Sony notes that input lag is also reduced as a result.

The latest PlayStation update also includes the ability to create open or closed parties on PS5 and PS4, UI enhancements to a game base and trophy card on PS5 as well as new accessibility features — though mono audio for headphones was the only named example. 

PS5 players in the U.S. and U.K. will be able to test a Voice Command preview feature, which lets them open games, apps or settings, and control media playback through voice alone. But only in English.

The PS App is also getting some enhancements, including an improved UI to make navigating easier, open and closed party support, plus a new dark mode. However, the real news is the fact VRR is finally coming very soon.

PS5 update: Why VRR is a big deal 

ps5 menu with variable refresh rate setting

(Image credit: Sony)

According to Sony all games can be optimized for VRR via a software update, while upcoming games can include support from day one. It will also be possible to apply VRR to games that don’t support it, which may improve quality, though Sony warns there may well be unexpected visual effects.

However, this does come as an extra toggle in the settings, and you’ll be able to turn off VRR for unsupported titles without affecting the ones that do.

It’s still not clear why VRR wasn’t available on launch day. Sony has confirmed that the PS5 hardware supports the feature on multiple occasions, and the Xbox Series X had VRR support right out of the box. 

The update is better late than never, though, and means PS5 owners will be able to enjoy the very best visuals that their TV or monitor can handle. All we need to do is wait for Sony to give us an actual date, rather than the vague “in the months ahead” window.

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. 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 that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.