Overwatch just got a significant update for Xbox Series X and S - but nothing yet for PlayStation 5.
Developer Blizzard outlined the additions in patch notes published to Battle.net. These "optimised for Xbox Series X|S enhancements" include a "preferred mode" graphics option that lets you switch between three different presets: Resolution, Balanced and Framerate.
Here's the breakdown:
- Resolution: This mode prefers higher-resolution output at the cost of some image-quality (Series X: 4K @ 60Hz, Series S: 1440p @ 60Hz)
- Balanced: This mode prefers image-quality at the cost of resolution (Series X: 1440p @ 60Hz, Series S: 1080p @ 60Hz)
- Framerate: This mode prefers higher frame-rate at 120 frames-per-second at the cost of both image-quality and resolution (Series X: 1440p @ 120Hz, Series S: 1080p @ 120Hz)
As you'd expect, you must have a TV that supports 120Hz or VRR (variable refresh rate) to fully take advantage of the Framerate mode.
So why not add all this to the PS5 version? The situation rekindles memories of Warzone and Rocket League on Sony's new console.
As Eurogamer reported in November last year, Infinity Ward quietly updated Call of Duty: Warzone to run at 120fps on Xbox Series X, but not on PS5.
Warzone, which comes up as a PlayStation 4 app when it's downloaded on PS5, does not boot in 120Hz, and there are no in-game menu functions to enable it.
Activision declined to comment when contacted by Eurogamer at the time, leaving us to assume the reason for this difference had to do with the way Sony handles backwards compatibility. Back then, I speculated that Infinity Ward would have to create a full PS5 port of Warzone in order to enable 120fps on the console.
Then we received evidence to suggest that line of thinking was correct. Rocket League is in a similar boat to Warzone: the hugely popular football driving game was updated to run at 120fps on Xbox Series X, but not on PS5.
Developer Psyonix told Eurogamer there were a few reasons for the decision, and pointed out enabling 120fps on PS5 "requires a full native port", whereas it's just a "minor patch" on Xbox Series X and S.
"Our team's main focus this year was our recent free to play transition and updating major features like our Tournaments system," Psyonix said.
"Due to this we had to make tough decisions on what else we could achieve. 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."
That helped explain why we're less likely to see PS4 games running at 120fps on PS5 than we are to see Xbox One games running at 120fps on Xbox Series X and S. And so it has proven in the early months of the new consoles' life.