PS5 Blocking 120Hz On Backwards-Compatible Titles, Says Rocket League Dev

It explains why so many patches that unlocked the feature on Xbox have mysteriously missed the PS5.

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With both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 out now, small differences between how both new consoles handle backwards compatibility have started to arise. Perhaps most notable is Microsoft's support for 120Hz on any games--Series X enhanced or not--on its new console, a feature which is missing on the PS5.

It was difficult to understand why at first. Star Wars: Squadrons was one of the first backwards-compatible titles to receive a patch that unlocked 120Hz support on Xbox Series X and Series S but remain locked to 60Hz on PS5. Soon after, Call of Duty: Warzone (which is still a backwards-compatible title as a standalone download) was patched with the same features, and again 120Hz was only missing on PS5.

It wasn't until Psyonix, developer of Rocket League, updated its popular multiplayer game that things became clearer. Rocket League exhibits the same behavior as Squadrons and Warzone, but Psyonix has opened as to why. According to the developer, it's down to Sony only allowing 120Hz support for native PS5 games, and not PS4 ones running in backwards-compatibility.

"Due to this we had to make tough decisions on what else we could achieve," Psyonix explained to Eurogamer. "Enabling 120Hz on Xbox Series X|S is a minor patch, but enabling it on PS5 requires a full native port due to how backwards compatibility is implemented on the console, and unfortunately wasn't possible due to our focus elsewhere."

Microsoft has been supporting features like VRR (at least with FreeSync support) and 120Hz well before the launch of its new consoles, with the Xbox One X featuring both shortly after its launch. It might explain why it's easier to simply patch games for compatibility on hardware that can make use of those features now, while Sony is only working with them for the first time.

It's up to Sony now as to whether 120Hz will ever be supported on backwards-compatible titles for the PS4, which might involve redirecting development resources away from its new console and its required upkeep. There are a few bugs that need attention already, although our PS5 review still describes in detail what a great console it is.

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