PS5: Let’s Pump the Brakes a Little on Those Supposed 8K Graphics
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- It needs to wait a couple of years before launch
- It needs to be enormously expensive
- Its “8K support” needs to be, in actuality, some clever marketing.
It wouldn’t be a lie to say any device with HDMI 2.1 supports 8K video.”
Consumer-Ready 8K Technology
Which brings us to the “when”. We already know the PlayStation 5 release date isn’t 2019. The Wired article says it explicitly. But an 8K console coming out in 2020 would be a very tall order. Considering that we’ve only just crossed into the comfortable world of high-refresh rate 4K gaming 6 months ago, the idea of another technological leap coming in another year to a console is extremely unlikely. If the PS5 is truly an 8K machine, it’s going to be a couple years (at least) before that technology is ready to come to the masses.
Clever Compression and/or Marketing?
Which leaves us with the most likely culprit: clever marketing. The PS5 will most certainly support the HDMI 2.1 standard, which supports 4K resolution at a 120Hz refresh rate or 8K at 60Hz. It wouldn’t be a lie to say any device with HDMI 2.1 supports 8K video.
It’s also possible it will use some of the tricks used by the PS4 Pro.
As 8K displays move from the showrooms of CES to the living rooms of the ultra-rich, and then eventually find homes in everyone else’s living rooms over the next few years, streaming video services will almost certainly be adding 8K content.
It’s also possible it will use some of the tricks used by the PS4 Pro, updated to render “8K” graphics for PS5. Using techniques like checkerboarding to conserve bandwidth, the PS4 Pro doesn’t actually produce a “true” 4K picture. There’s no reason to think Sony couldn’t improve on and implement a similar system for a hypothetical 8K console.
Don’t Lose Hope
Seth Macy is IGN’s tech and commerce editor and just wants to be your friend. Find him on Twitter @sethmacy.
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