The PS5 (opens in new tab) and Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) are set to be hugely powerful consoles with specs that make them capable of feats that are not attainable with the current gen PS4 (opens in new tab) and Xbox One X (opens in new tab). 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 (opens in new tab) revealing that the console will be twice as fast as the Xbox One X, and followed up with a specs drop (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), we do know that the console will have comparable capabilities to the Xbox Series X, including support for a 120Hz frame rate (opens in new tab) and 8K resolution (opens in new tab).
Your current TV probably isn't equipped to support these features, and here's why.
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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.
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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 (opens in new tab) at CES 2020, while Samsung unveiled (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab).