There’s great news for people who bought one of Sony’s ‘Perfect for PlayStation 5’ LED TVs from 2021 or 2022 and who play games on it using a PS5 or Xbox Series X – you’ll now be able to get full video quality and VRR on the Same time!
Until now, enabling variable refresh rates on Sony’s LED TVs that use its XR Cognitive Processor disabled the backlight’s localized dimming feature, meaning you didn’t get as good HDR contrast if you had VRR. activated. We still rate some of these TVs as being among the best TVs for gaming due to their other great features, but that was definitely a huge frustration.
But an update is now being released for relevant TVs that fixes this issue so that VRR and local dimming can live in harmony. Affects Sony X90J, Sony X95J and Z9J 8K TV from 2021 models and Sony X90K, X95K and Z9K from 2022 models. The change was noticed by the TV critic Vincent Teoh (opens in new tab).
The update appears to be available now, but some TV software updates are slow to release, so check your settings to see if v6.5929 is already available for you.
Sony has released firmware update v6.5929 to enable local dimming in VRR mode on 2021 (X90J, X95J, Z9J) and 2022 (X90K, X95K, Z9K) BRAVIA XR LED LCDs, thereby improving contrast performance during VRR games. I don’t have any of these TVs to test, but let me know how you do! pic.twitter.com/NwIFsjGrTOJune 29, 2022
The update doesn’t affect Sony OLED TVs that support VRR, like the Sony A90J, because they don’t use the same kind of local dimming technology. It also doesn’t change anything for the Sony X85J and Sony X85K, which also support VRR and use LED backlighting, but they don’t have XR processor-powered local dimming, so it wasn’t an issue.
Opinion: Sony needs to talk more about its problems
It was strange that this was an issue in the first place, considering how much effort Sony has gone to to ensure their own TVs are very tempting to PS5 owners. One of the key features of ‘Perfect for PlayStation 5’ TVs is ‘Auto HDR Tone Mapping’, where the PS5 is able to recognize which Sony TV model you have and adjust its HDR output to make the most of your device’s maximum brightness. and deeper dark tones.
Around the same time, Sony finally added VRR to the PS5, which means games can have frame rates that shift and drop without causing screen tearing, giving developers more flexibility.
So having your TV’s specially supported HDR capabilities crippled by the other fancy new graphics feature felt like a major oversight. We approached Sony at the time to find out if a fix for this issue was in the cards, but Sony declined to comment on potential future plans.
That communication has been an ongoing annoyance with Sony’s TVs and gaming features: at launch, the X90J didn’t support VRR, for example, despite Sony saying it would. So we wait and wait, but there’s no indication of when to wait, leaving shoppers who bought it assuming the feature would come to wonder if they’ve been ripped off. It arrived eventually, of course.
In comparison, LG has commented on feature updates and issues in the past as they occur – even though it couldn’t provide details, we’ve seen the company say it’s aware of the issues and is working on a fix. This is helpful and comforting!
Sony TVs remain very popular and for good reason – they are some of the best 4K TVs on the market. I would gladly recommend the X90J as one of the best 120Hz TVs for gamers. And we’re reviewing the new Sony A80K OLED TV, and its performance matches more expensive TVs.
But as TVs increasingly rely on updates to add features over time, I think Sony needs to become a little more open customer.