PS5 system update enables 4K@120fps gaming on Samsung's 2020 TVs

Mike Wheatley

Sony has fixed a key compatibility issue with its PlayStation 5 games console and Samsung's 2020 HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs via a new system update that also enables new features such as HDR/SDR matching and USB game storage.


Writing for Forbes this week, consumer tech journalist John Archer explained that owners of Samsung’s HDMI 2.1-equipped 2020 QLED TVs have been unable to play PS5 games in 4K resolution at 120Hz in high dynamic range due to an incompatibility issue. Instead, they were forced to choose between 4K120 SDR or 4K60 HDR, even though games in 4K at 120Hz work just fine with the Microsoft Xbox Series X.

Samsung had promised in January that the problem would be resolved via a firmware update to the PS5 that was slated to arrive in March. And now, although it hasn’t been listed among the system update’s new features, the fix has arrived, albeit a few weeks later than Samsung said it would.

4K@120Hz is a new feature on HDMI 2.1 TVs that enables ultra-fast graphics to be displayed at 4K resolution. Gameplay is more responsive and the graphics appear crisper and sharper, without any flicker or tearing.

Archer reported that he has already tested games including Call of Duty: Cold War and Dirt 5 on a Samsung Q90T TV since installing the system update on his PS5, and said both games “now play beautifully in 4K/120Hz with HDR”. He added that the fix occurred automatically as soon as he connected the updated PS5 to the Samsung Q90T, with no need to make any manual adjustments in the PS5 output menus.

The rollout of HDMI 2.1-enabled gaming features such as 4K120 has suffered from a number of hiccups along the way. LG Electronics had similar issues with its 2020 TVs that were also fixed by an update in 2020 that was, luckily, timed with the arrival of the PS5 and Xbox Series X late last year. Sony has had issues with its TVs too, and also had to unlock 4K at 120Hz through a firmware update.

Other popular PS5 titles that support 4K at 120fps include Borderlands 3, Fortnite and Devil May Cry 5.

Besides enabling 4K at 120Hz gaming, Sony’s first major PS5 system update also adds the ability to store games on an external USB drive. It means users will have more options to manage the limited storage on the PS5 hardware, though it does add a bit of hassle as games still need to be moved to the internal SSD before they can be played.

"It’s a great way to extend the storage capabilities of your PS5 console, and you can seamlessly copy your PS5 games back to the console’s internal storage when you’re ready to play,” Sony said in a blog post. “It is faster to reinstall PS5 games from USB extended storage than to re-download or copy them from a disc."

Sony has also promised to support storage expansion via M.2 drives in the future. Additional new features include cross-generation Share Play between the PS4 and PS5 and the pre-downloading of game updates.