Why it matters: The PlayStation 5’s next-gen hardware is arguably the most powerful we’ve seen in a home game console. However, for all that added juice, the performance improvements when playing PS4 games in Compatibility Mode have been limited.
Load times appear to be improved, but PS4 games don’t appear to be able to take advantage of the PS5’s extra cycles to increase frame rates. Granted, no one expects the PlayStation 5 to work wonders on PS4 games running in compatibility mode, but it seems developers should have access to the extra PS.
The developers at Rocket League and Overwatch tinkered with creating a 120Hz mode for their respective titles, but gave up and thought it was impossible. Any improvement in performance would require a full-fledged PS5 port as far as they could tell.
“Activating 120Hz on Xbox Series X | S is a minor patch, but activation on PS5 requires a full native port due to backward compatibility. [sic] is implemented on the console, and unfortunately [that] was not possible due to our focus on other areas, “Stephanie Thoensen, Senior Communications Manager at Psyonix, told PushSquare last November.
PS5 – Here are the settings we enabled in System Preferences for 120Hz in #Warzone.
Settings -> Screen & Video -> Activate 120 Hz -> Automatic.
Settings -> Saved Data and Game / App Settings -> Game Preferences -> Performance Mode selected pic.twitter.com/t1b4o4lCop
– Call of Duty News (@charlieINTEL) June 17, 2021
Recently, the developers at Raven Software and Infinity Ward looked at the situation and said, “Wait a minute. Hold our beers.”
According to a tweet from Charlie Intel, CoD: Warzone got 120 Hz support in its latest update. However, it is not that easy to toggle a performance mode in the game settings.
To enable Warzone’s 120Hz mode, users need to change some PS5 system settings. First go to Settings-> Screen & Video-> Video Output and set Enable 120Hz Output to Automatic. Second, go to Settings-> Saved Data and Game / App Settings-> Game Preferences and then change Performance or Resolution Mode to Performance.
Of course you need a TV with 120Hz and HDMI 2.1 support to be able to use the settings in 4K. If your device is HDMI 2.0 you can only get 120Hz to work at 1080p resolution and you may need to turn HDR off.
While achieving 120 fps in a PS4 game in compatibility mode is not easy, it is clearly possible without “a full native port” to the PlayStation 5, as Psyonix said. Now that the developers at Raven and Infinity have this sorted out, other studios should take note and follow suit.