Attack of the Fanboy

Xbox Scorpio: Phil Spencer Wants TVs to Support VRR and Freesync

by Kyle Hanson


In the past, new consoles really just upped the quality of games by offering more powerful hardware. Now though there are tons of features and different things that can enhance the experience. Microsoft’s Xbox Project Scorpio does this with a few new things for the console space. Not only will it allow for 4K resolution and HDR visuals, it will also support Freesync and variable framerates (VRR). But to take advantage of these, your TV has to support it. Xbox head Phil Spencer had some thoughts there.

Freesync is AMD’s version of the syncing technology that has been taking over the PC space. These types of technologies sync up the graphics card and monitor or TV so that every frame produced is displayed at the proper refresh rate. It’s a bit technical, and I probably fudged that explanation a bit, but the short answer is that Freesync makes it so your TV and console are in sync, displaying frames at exactly the right time, making for a smoother and less hardware intensive experience.

Along with this is VRR, or “variable refresh rate”. Currently your TV or monitor is likely at a locked refresh rate, displaying a new image 60 times a second or more. But games sometimes can run at intervals that aren’t supported by the TV or monitor. What happens if you want to run a game at 90 frames per second on a 144hz screen? Well, some weird stuff, unless it supports VRR like Scorpio does.

So, with all of that explained, what does Spencer think? “Have to work with TV companies to get support for VRR but the results of on gameplay feel great. We want VRR on TVs,” he tweeted. A fan chimed in, asking about how Sony might be involved as they produce some of the biggest and best TVs on the market.

Spencer responded, “Gamers are making TV purchase decisions based on TVs capabilities and Gamers buying power is strong. We should work together as an industry.” So, could we be headed toward a Microsoft and Sony team up to get this technology out there? Hopefully so, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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