Despite not having been officially acknowledged, PlayStation 5 will indeed be fully utilizing Variable Rate Shading (VRS) for next-generation games.
In a recent PlayStation 5-related discussion on NeoGAF, the lead artist from Activision pointed out how VRS will help developers create systems that can procedurally generate higher quality assets on the next-generation PlayStation 4 successor. He also noted how the new Geometry Engine (GE) block of the RDNA 2 technology needs VRS by design.
PlayStation 5 houses “a custom AMD GPU based on their RDNA 2 technology,” according to system architect Mark Cerny. GE, part of RDNA 2, offers developers unparalleled control over triangles and other primitives, and easy optimisation for geometry culling. Hence, as the lead artist from Activision pointed out above, both are necessary parts of the same equation.
Sony maybe yet to word VRS for the public but the presence of RDNA 2-based technology and GE confirms VRS for PlayStation 5.
In addition, Matt Hargett, a former principal software engineer who worked on PlayStation 5, explained a couple of weeks back how VRS and GE work together.
Variable Rate Shading is nice for saving cycles, but VRS’ optimization capability doesn’t hold a handle to the Geometry Engine’s capabilities. VRS without GE means you’re still processing vertices you can/should eliminate in earlier stages to begin with. More free compute/memory.
— Matt Hargett (@syke) March 19, 2020
There were some growing concerns and in all fairness, derailing debates, about PlayStation 5 not having VRS features. Microsoft, on the other hand, has already confirmed Xbox Series X to be using VRS to achieve stable frame rates at higher resolutions without compromising the final image quality.
PlayStation 5 remains on scheduled to launch worldwide during the holiday season of 2020. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic sparked speculations about a possible delay or limited launch. Sony has so far confirmed no such plans and continues to aim at the same release window. Xbox Series X, in similar fashion, is also launching around the same time. Microsoft has categorically stated that no delays are in the cards.