Sony's latest PS5 patch slightly improves performance in select games, proving the console can receive firmware-based game boosts over time.
The PlayStation 5's new 21.02-04.00.00 firmware update finally unlocks the console's M.2 expansion bay for additional PCIe 4.0 SSD storage, but the patch apparently has a hidden bonus that boosts in-game performance.
According to Digital Foundry, the PS5's latest update delivered a small 3% jump in hardware speeds while running certain games. These games weren't updated or patched by the developers, however the virtual machines that run them apparently were (Control, for example, runs amazingly well on Series X as a result). "In very select scenarios it does seem the PlayStation 5 is now running faster. All PlayStation 5's are running faster than they were before with this new firmware. It's only a couple of percentage points, about 3%. We can demonstrably prove that this firmware in select scenarios is running faster than the old one," Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter says.
"Although slight, and totally unnoticeable to the average user, these are measurable and very intriguing."
This isn't the first time we've heard about Sony using firmware patches to adjust PlayStation 5 performance. Back in October 2020, Sony engineer Yasuhiro Ootori said Sony could use firmware updates to dynamically scale and adjust the PS5's fan based on game usage. The idea is to create fan profiles based on how much the fan revs up in specific games and adjust the fans to ensure the PS5 stays cool under demanding loads.
"Various games will be released in the future, and data on the APU's behavior in each game will be collected. We have a plan to optimize the fan control based on this data," Ootori told 4Gamer at the time.
Sony has yet to comment on this news and it probably won't, but for now the next-gen landscape remains one of the most interesting generations in gaming history.
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