Earlier this week, a new patent filed by Sony suggested that it is planning on adding backwards compatibility to the PlayStation 5. Now, another patent has surfaced revealing possibly another feature the system will have.
Filed back in May by Sony Interactive Entertainment, and approved just a few days ago, the patent appears to suggest that hardware V-Sync will ship with the next Sony console.
Titled "Video Frame Rate Compensation Through Adjustment of Vertical Blanking," the patent is pretty extensive, but in short, it should help games run better on the system.
For those that don't know: V-Sync is a hardware feature that helps combat and essentially get rid of screen tearing. In other words, with it, games tend to look a lot more crisp and smooth.
Short for Vertical Synchronization, V-Sync aids the game's frame to your display's refresh rate. For example, if you're playing a 30FPS game on a 30HZ display, V-Sync intercepts those frequencies and makes sure the game never crosses 30FPS and causes tearing, etc.
For PC gamers, V-Sync is a familiar feature, but for consoles it's new. In the past, console developers have simply put a cap on a game's framerate, a less elegant and effective solution, and one that restricts the game in certain regards.
Certain consoles game have had V-Sync support in the past, but it has been on the software side, not the hardware, which isn't the same. V-Sync on the software side essentially means the output frame is buffered until the display or monitor is ready for it.
So, why haven't consoles embraced V-Sync in the past? Well, as you may know, consoles aren't exactly powerhouses in the GPU department, and V-Sync taxes the heck out of a system's GPU. How Sony is bypassing this hardware requirement, who knows.
The patent does provide a little insight though, and makes mention of something called "vertical blanking." What this does is fill in missing frames whenever the game drops frames, kind of like a safety net.
Of course, be sure to check out the patent for yourself and draw your own conclusions. Though, unless you speak in the language of hardware, you'll likely not get much out of it.
It's also worth noting that just because something is patented, doesn't mean anything will ever come of it.1comments
The PlayStation 5 has yet to be officially announced, or even confirmed, though most expect Sony to reveal it sometime next year, or 2020 at the very latest.