PlayStation 5 launches in a few days but will not support a couple of major features that Sony Interactive Entertainment had previously confirmed.
According to a review published by Digital Foundry on the weekend, PS5 is definitely able to support up to 8K resolution which incidentally is also mentioned on the packaging material. There is however no way to enable that support, which limits PS5 to support up to only 4K resolution, at least at launch.
PS5 further does not support Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) or Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) despite having an HDMI 2.1 interface and despite Sony officially confirming support for VRR and ALLM out of the box.
VRR forces a display to match its refresh rate with the frame rate of a game to eliminate or reduce screen tearing. This should not be a problem unless PS5 finds it difficult to maintain a stable (and high) frame-rate in a particular game at 4K resolution. Xbox Series X too is limited to 4K resolution but in comparison supports VRR out of the box as did Xbox One X as well.
For ALLM though, players have to “manually engage game mode for the lowest possible latency” on their displays. There is no automatic switching which an 8K display does for both Xbox Series X and the new Nvidia RTX cards.
It appears that Sony and Microsoft are presently only focusing on delivering a 4K experience. 8K displays are incredibly expensive for the time being and the console manufacturers probably plan to enable support for 8K down the line when more consumers start upgrading from 4K displays.
Microsoft for one has already confirmed as much. “Xbox Series X was designed with the next 8 to 10 years of advancements in mind, and as 8K becomes a more widely adopted format, the console will support it,” reads a statement issued to WhatHiFi. Sony though has made no statements.
PlayStation 5 launches on November 12, 2020, for $500. Its accompanying PS5 digital edition retails at $400 which features the same hardware except for a disc drive.