No, You Don’t Need a New TV for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X

Between Black Friday gross sales and new console launches, everybody’s speaking about shopping for a brand new TV this yr. It appears everybody—together with our personal WIRED reviewers—are extolling the virtues of recent panels when paired with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. But do you actually need a brand new TV, and in that case, what about these new screens is so particular?

If You Don’t Have a 4K HDR TV, You’ll Be Missing Out on a Lot

For the previous few years, TV tech has been within the midst of an enormous transition with two major enhancements to image high quality: 4K and HDR. Without getting too technical, these can enhance the sharpness, shade, and basic “pop” of your TV’s image, and each the PS5 and Xbox Series X are primed to take advantage of these applied sciences. If you are still utilizing an older 1080p set, the brand new consoles will nonetheless comprise some enhancements—see beneath—however they will really feel extra like incremental upgrades if you do not have a comparatively latest set.

Technically, final era’s mid-cycle refreshes, the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, additionally made use of 4K and HDR, although the Xbox Series X takes it even additional with its Auto HDR characteristic that provides these shiny highlights to backwards-compatible Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One video games. The disc-based variations of each consoles additionally comprise 4K Blu-ray gamers, which is a pleasant value-add you probably have a succesful TV.

Smoother Gameplay and Fast Loading Times Will Benefit Any TV

That’s to not say these new consoles are totally about new TV tech. The beefier {hardware} contained in the PS5 and Xbox Series X can play many video games at greater body charges, which suggests you may get smoother movement and extra responsive controls it doesn’t matter what TV you utilize—even when it is an older 1080p set. Some avid gamers might not discover or care in regards to the added smoothness, however I’m of the opinion that 60 frames per second is a large enchancment over the 30-fps gameplay of final era. (Some next-gen video games will even have choices to play at 120 frames per second, which can require a more moderen TV.)

Plus, each consoles have added options that don’t have anything to do together with your TV—just like the Xbox’s Quick Resume characteristic, or the PS5’s improved haptics and 3D audio for headphones. Both consoles additionally sport super-fast SSDs, that means load instances will probably be blazing quick in comparison with the Xbox One and PS4. These options are good to have, even on previous or low-cost TVs.

HDMI 2.1 Features Are Nice, however Not Urgent Upgrades

Finally, if you happen to’ve seen any TV shopping for guides this yr, you may discover “HDMI 2.1” talked about as a gaming characteristic to search for if you happen to plan on shopping for a PS5 or Xbox Series X. HDMI 2.1, launched in 2019, provides just a few helpful gaming options:

  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) permits your TV to “sync” the variety of instances it refreshes per second to the variety of frames being output by your console. This can scale back display screen tearing and sure sorts of movement stutter. Note that the Xbox Series X can use a much less highly effective model of VRR referred to as FreeSync on sure Samsung and LG TVs that do not have HDMI 2.1.

  • Auto-Low Latency Mode (ALLM) mechanically places your TV into Game Mode when it detects a sport sign. This, coupled with HDMI 2.1’s Quick Frame Transport (QFT), can scale back enter lag with out you having to manually flip Game Mode on each time you hearth up the ol’ PlayStation.

  • Enhanced Audio Return Channel (ARC) permits your TV to ship higher-quality audio to a receiver or soundbar. This is not a gaming-specific characteristic, however is helpful if you wish to go Dolby Atmos by means of your TV (the PS5 helps Atmos for Blu-ray discs solely, whereas the Xbox Series X helps it in some video games).

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