PS4 Pro firmware 5.50’s Supersampling Mode is mostly great news for 1080p TV owners, but you shouldn’t always have it on – report

By Sherif Saed, Tuesday, 13 February 2018 13:19 GMT

Supersampling Mode added in PS4 firmware 5.50 brings much needed boosts for PS4 Pro owners with 1080p TVs.

Supersampling Mode is one part of the feature-rich firmware update 5.50, which also includes UI updates, the ability to set custom backgrounds, and more.

In short, what Supersampling Mode does is that it allows Pro-enhanced games that do not offer any upgrades to 1080p owners by default, to downsample their image from a higher resolution – intended for 4k displays – to a 1080p monitor, thus making the image much sharper. This is a system-level setting that makes using a full-hd display with a PS4 Pro a lot less annoying.

In practice, what this does is allow for higher resolution textures, and less jagged edges to be shown. Although this is big news for 1080p TV owners, Digital Foundry has found that the setting shouldn’t always be turned on.

In some games, performance takes a hit when supersampling is enabled. The Last Guardian, which suffered from frequent frame-rate drops on 4k screens, runs about as bad on a 1080p screen when using supersampling. When turned off, the game offers a native 1080p option with a more stable frame-rate, which produces better performance but downgrades the visuals.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is another game that suffers from the same problem. Forcing supersampling activates the game’s 4k mode, which produces much worse performance in favour of enhanced visuals.

The report ends by saying that players should simply disable supersampling when the cost to performance becomes too big, but the important thing is that it adds an option previously unavailable in some games.

Firmware 5.50 is currently in beta, with no projected release date.

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