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Sony's top 2021 TVs are getting exclusive PS5 picture features

Sony's TVs now have exclusive features for PS5
(Image credit: Future / The Boy From Medellin, Amazon Prime)

While Sony's long been trying to suggest a degree of synergy between its TVs and the PlayStation 5, up until now there's been little reason to buy one of its 'Ready for PS5' models over a TV from a rival manufacturer.

That could be about to change, as Sony has announced that a number of its top 2021 models are going to be getting a couple of genuinely unique PS5-related features: Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode. Sony refers to compatible models as 'Perfect for PS5'.

Auto HDR Tone Mapping optimises the HDR settings during your initial PS5 setup, automatically selecting the best HDR setting for your specific TV. Because it's precisely mapped to your TV display spec, it should bring out more details in bright or dark parts of the picture, avoiding crushed, overly black dark areas and over-exposed bright highlights.

You can achieve the same result with any TV by accessing the PS5's Adjust HDR feature and manually calibrating the HDR output, but the new Auto HDR Tone Mapping feature Sony's implementing here does remove that slight hassle and the potential for human error (there is a knack to getting the best out of the Adjust HDR feature that you can read about in our PS5 settings feature), so we think this sounds like a neat little bonus feature for PS5 gamers on these Sony TVs.

Auto Genre Picture Mode allows the TV to automatically detect whether you're watching a movie or playing a game, and switch to the corresponding mode. Gaming mode turns off certain image processing to minimise lag to make the screen more responsive, while the standard mode turns the processing back on to prioritise picture quality.

Yes, this is exactly what ALLM (Auto Low-Latency Mode) does – has Sony simply given a generic feature a fancy new name? We’ve asked for comment. Certainly, there’s no mention of the TV automatically adjusting the picture based on specific genre, so the name seems rather misleading.

Both of these modes will be available via software updates (to the TVs and to the PS5) by the end of 2021. The sets said to be 'Perfect for PS5' are the Sony Z9J, A90J, A80J, X95J and X90J.

What about the long-promised VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) update? It was recently released for some 2020 Sony models but the 2021 models are still waiting. Sony assures us they will still get the feature before the end of 2021. It's worth pointing out that the PS5 itself still doesn't support VRR – perhaps Sony is planning on launching the TV and console updates at the same time?

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Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.