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PS5 Update Had An Unexpected Benefit

The latest PS5 firmware update reportedly brought some small performance improvements to select games. In a recent episode of Digital Foundry Direct Weekly, the panel discussed everything that just changed about the PS5, including gamers' option to upgrade their internal storage and the fact that it seems to have ever so slightly improved game performance.

"In very select scenarios, it does seem as though [all] PlayStation 5s are running faster than they were before with this new firmware," Richard Leadbetter of Digital Foundry said. Leadbetter went on to explain that these performance improvements are seen in only select games. "Control" and "Devil May Cry 5" run 2% to 3% faster on the new firmware, resulting in an improvement in framerate by 1 to 2 frames. This difference is obviously very small, almost negligible for most people, however, the fact that this improvement came from a firmware update makes it worth noting. It's unclear if this performance change was something intentional on the part of Sony, or if the new firmware is more optimized than it previously was, allowing the console to dedicate a small bit more power to running games. The difference in performance and the specificity of the games affected by the update makes one wonder: How did Digital Foundry discover the lesser-known effects of the update?

Thorough testing

This discovery came while Digital Foundry was testing the PS5 hardware update to see if people's concerns were valid. Ultimately, the testing found the PS5 revision doesn't seem to have a cooling problem, as some gamers suspected. In fact, the launch PS5 and PS5 revision function almost identically. 

Though it briefly seemed like the new version ran games worse, the team figured out that the launch PS5 had the new firmware while the PS5 revision was running older firmware. After testing multiple games and updating the firmware on the newer PS5 console, Digital Foundry discovered that the new firmware made the console run games marginally better.

Based on this testing, both the launch PS5 and revised PS5 see a minor improvement from the firmware update, showing that the two systems really are the same in the performance department. While the increased performance is so minor most people won't be able to even tell, it might suggest that Sony could optimize the console even more in the future. Of course, that doesn't really matter for a large group of people, since the PS5 continues to be incredibly difficult to purchase and there aren't any signs of improvement for the near future.