May 28, 2023

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Call of Duty: Warzone at 120Hz – has PS5 back-compat evolved?

The recently released 120Hz update for Call of Duty: Warzone for PlayStation 5 users is a welcome boost – it doubles performance over the prior version of the game, doing so with no noticeable impact to image quality. More importantly, its release may well signify that Sony is beefing up its backwards compatible support for its latest console, bringing it closer into line with the kind of features available on Xbox Series consoles, when running code designed for last-gen machines.

So, in this piece, I’ll be considering backwards compatibility features in general for both Microsoft and Sony machines, while at the same time looking at Warzone specifically. But to begin with, there are a couple of caveats and clarifications required for the game’s 120Hz support on PlayStation 5. First of all, Activision’s patch notes suggest that an HDMI 2.1 screen is required to achieve 120Hz gaming – but this is not the case. If you have an HDMI 2.0 display (or indeed capture card), you can still achieve 120fps – however, the image will be internally downscaled from native resolution to 1080p.

There have also been reports that the PS5 needs its game presets option in the game/app settings menu set to ‘performance’ but this can be ruled out. To activate 120Hz, all you need to do is ensure that in the Screen and Video menu, the ‘enable 120Hz output’ is set to ‘automatic’. However, we can confirm that there is an issue with Warzone HDR – if you have high dynamic range enabled, or set to automatic, 120Hz will not work. This front-end option needs to be disabled, which is a shame. I tested this on both an HDMI 2.1-equipped LG CX OLED and on an HDMI 2.0 capture card.

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