PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles will need you to get a new TV

To get the most of your next-gen consoles you'll need a next-gen TV

PS5 and Xbox Series X
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The PS5 and Xbox Series X are set to be hugely powerful consoles with specs that make them capable of feats that are not attainable with the current gen PS4 and Xbox One X. But to take advantage of them, you'll need a TV that's up to the par, and it's likely your current big black box isn't it.

Microsoft unveiled its new console at last year's Game Awards revealing that the console will be twice as fast as the Xbox One X, and followed up with a specs drop just last month. It utilises a custom processor that allows for high frame rates of up to 120Hz and 8K resolution - a world away from the Xbox One X's 4K 60fps. 

 While we're still waiting for Sony to show the world the PS5, after missing the expected February reveal window, we do know that the console will have comparable capabilities to the Xbox Series X, including support for a 120Hz frame rate and 8K resolution

Your current TV probably isn't equipped to support these features, and here's why. 

To enable support for the high frame rates and resolutions, both consoles will swap out the current gen HDMI 2.0 ports that support a maximum of 4K 60fps for the latest HDMI 2.1 standard. Microsoft has already confirmed this outright, and while Sony is yet to do a spec reveal, knowing what the PS5 will be capable of, it's a given that it will update to the newest iteration. 

Most TVs feature an HDMI 2.0 port, which don't support features like Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). Put simply, this means that you don't have to manually set the TV to gaming mode when you boot up your console; instead, it'll automatically set the display to its lowest latency mode (ALLM) and synchronise the screen's refresh rate to the game's refresh rate (VRR).

Essentially, you need a TV with HDMI 2.1 to fully enjoy 8K 120fps content and a smooth gaming experience.   

A few TV manufacturers are launching lines of tellies that can support 8K 120fps, including Samsung and LG. 

LG revealed its line of OLED and NanoCell LCD TVs at CES 2020, while Samsung unveiled its flagship Q950TS and Q900TS QLED sets, along with Q800T for those on more of a strict budget. Both companies' newly announced TVs will definitely future-proof your entertainment set up, and if you're an early adopter of tech, upgrading before the consoles' launch this holiday season will ensure you can enjoy the content as it's supposed to be consumed.

Of course, it's not a necessity, and the majority of developers may not even release games that utilise the full suite of features available to them until we're a year or two into the PS5 and Xbox One X's console cycle. A lot of titles will also be cross-gen, as the entirety of the install base for console gaming isn't going to make the transition to next gen straight away, which is another reason that we may not see 8K 120fps games coming out immediately. 

If you have the budget though or are looking to refresh your entertainment centre, Samsung and LG have some fantastic options to transform your entire set up from current gen to next gen-ready. For gamers who want cutting edge tech for the best experience, and have the budget to indulge, Samsung and LG have sets that we rate amongst the best 8K TVs of 2020.  

Shabana Arif

Shabana worked at as News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.