According to Newzoo, the gaming industry is expected to be worth $174 billion by 2021. Interestingly, physical consoles have a 25% share today when it comes to the total industry's global worth in 2018, at a staggering $34.6 billion.
And with new TV tech arriving, gaming consoles, mobile gaming developers, and PC gaming companies are gearing up for a rapid expansion and upgradation.
In the latest E3 2019 announcement, Sony and Microsoft unveiled their ambitious and most powerful gaming consoles PS5 and Xbox Project Scarlett respectively. Both of them offer spectacular upgrades to their predecessors and giving gaming enthusiasts sleepless nights due to the excitement about their expected release in 2020.
For one, both of them will sport Zen 2 and Navi architecture with custom AMD chipsets. The performance of both consoles is not just confined to processing power but is advanced enough to support the 8K resolution and up to a massive 120FPS.
Yes! you heard it right.
And while you may have more PS and Xbox fans gearing up for the next launch, the other industry that’s going to be affected by the development is the television industry.
They need to catch up with the consoles in order to attract more customers.
However, there are already a few 4K and 8K TVs in the market offering a beautiful visual experience with immersive resolution.
So, why do they need to catch up in the first place?
The problem with the present 4K and 8k TVs
At present, there are only a few 8K TVs offered by LG, Samsung, Sony available in the market. The major drawback of these 4K and 8K TVs is they do not offer HDMI 2.1.
Instead, they are equipped with HDMI 2.0 which became the standard for a few years now in the AV segment. HDMI 2.0 will be unable to deliver the 4K 120fps and 8K 60fps offered by PS5 and Xbox Project Scarlett.
Here are the major differences between HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1
- Maximum Bandwidth 18Gbps
- Maximum video resolution 4K/60Hz
- Maximum frame rate 60fps
- Maximum refresh rate 60Hz
- HDR - Static
- Game mode variable refresh rate - No
- eARC - NO
- Maximum Bandwidth 40Gbps
- Maximum video resolution 10k/120Hz
- Maximum frame rate 120fps
- Maximum refresh rate 120Hz
- HDR - Dynamic
- Game mode variable refresh rate - Yes
- eARC - Yes
There is a significant difference between HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 2.1 in terms of bandwidth and refresh rate. As PS5 and Xbox promised to deliver 4K 120fps output, the present TVs with HDMI 2.0 won't be able to deliver those results accurately and we cannot tap into the full potential of the new PS5 and Xbox consoles.
All of the 4K TVs which are available and are to be released this year, carry HDMI 2.0 which have the bandwidth of 18Gbps only. It will not be enough to process uncompressed 120fps 4K HDR video at both constant and variable rates.
On the other hand, HDMI 2.1 offers a super speed 40Gbps bandwidth which will be competent to handle uncompressed 4K video at 120fps and 8K at 60fps at both constant and variable refresh rates.
HDMI 2.1 offers eARC which will give uncompressed full resolution audio over HDMI 2.1 connection which is missing in HDMI ARC of its predecessor. With 31mbps maximum audio bandwidth and uncompressed 7.1 surrounds, eARC offers the best sound experience.
V2.0 already gave the best improvement with HDR to televisions. But It is a known fact that Dolby Vision HDR is more superior than HDR offered by the HDMI 2.0. It is superior because it is Dynamic HDR and it changes the image itself to be dynamic. HDMI 2.1 is equipped with Dynamic HDR which gives one more reason why TVs should upgrade to HDMI 2.1.
Variable Refresh Rate
With 120Hz refresh rate HDMI 2.1 will make gamers experience more fluid and stutter-free with Game mode VRR. It will create new levels of Virtual Reality(VR) experience with minimal or no input lag. As PS5 and Xbox are powered with 120Hz, TVs should also be powered with HDMI 2.1 to handle such High variable refresh rates.
HDMI 2.0 cannot be upgraded with software to make way for 120fps 4K video. The upgrade has to happen at the hardware level. That is the primary reason why TVs have to push towards HDMI 2.1 as early as possible to be compatible with PS5 and Xbox Project Scarlet.
So, what's next?
New consoles slated to get in market by 2020, TVs manufacturers will have to push for 8K resolution with HDMI 2.1 support input to market themselves as PS5 and Xbox Project Scarlet compatible.
It will take time for TV manufacturers to upgrade. If you are a PlayStation fan and committed to buying PS5 then you have to keep in mind the cost of New TV. You should wait for next year to see what the market will offer because the price of 8K and 4K TVs are not easily affordable. If you are planning to buy or already ordered your 4K TV then nothing to worry about. New consoles will be compatible with the existing TVs as well.
Whether it is a game or a movie, AR or VR, everyone is thriving to create an immersive and realistic experience to the users. TVs are getting better and Games and movies are being made in 8K to deliver that experience. Since consoles and TVs are complementary in nature, one will push another for the up gradation and in this present scenario, the consoles will definitely push TV manufacturing companies to come up with the latest technology to cater 4K 120fps and 8K 60fps.