ASUS are planning a new range of 4K monitors that will feature HDMI 2.1. Is this exactly what next-gen consoles need?
PC and accessory manufacturer ASUS aren’t strangers when it comes to the gaming industry. As a company that’s known for their high-end gaming laptops and reliable PCs, ASUS understand what committed gamers are looking for.
Since launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, gamers have struggled to find a monitor/TV that allows them to unleash their console’s power. This has arguably been the case since the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X launched – even PC gamers are familiar with this issue.
Gaming has now reached a point where the burden of visual fidelity falls just as much on the TV/monitor, than it does on the device running the media. The PS5 and Xbox Series X are capable of 120fps, crisp 4K, and silky smooth HDR, but for these features to work, the TV/monitor needs to be too.
Most 4K TVs aren’t capable of the 120hz needed to produce a rapid refresh rate of 120 frames-per-second (120fps). The average 4K TV caps at around 50hz, which alone is less than most PS5/Xbox Series X games can provide.
The majority of next-gen titles run at 60fps in 4K, so any TV that offers less than this is selling the new consoles short. For a TV/monitor to allow a PS5, Xbox Series X or even a high-end gaming PC to reach their stride it needs to offer a refresh rate of 120hz.
At the present time, most TVs simply don’t. But if you’re looking for a new TV for your PS5/Xbox Series X, there are certain features should look out for.
4K TV/Monitor Owners Need Not Panic – Yet
It’s worth pointing out that most next-gen games offer players a choice between super-high 4K pixel count, essentially prioritizing resolution. Or a rapid refresh rate of 120fps, prioritizing performance and how seamlessly the images flow onscreen.
This is important because it means, at the time of writing, gamers are unlikely to be in a situation where they can take advantage of both. This will come as a relief to gamers who are frustrated by the price of high-end TVs and monitors.
It essentially means that those who already have 4K TV, which is capable of 60fps and HDR may not need to upgrade. That is unless 120fps is very important to them.
However, in time, more games will be capable of 120fps and the balance between this and resolution will become easier to achieve. When this happens, those who invested in a powerful TV/monitor will feel the benefit.
By the time the PS5 Pro and mid-gen Xbox upgrade arrive, it’s likely that games will not offer a choice between resolution and performance anymore. They’ll just be able to handle both.
For this to be enabled, the owner of the console will need a TV/monitor which can offer it. And HDMI 2.1, will be the key feature. This is why ASUS are getting ahead of the game with their new monitors.
Why Is HDMI 2.1 So Important?
HDMI 2.1 is the upgrade to current HDMI. It looks the same but offers so much more. It essentially offers a wider bandwidth between devices and screens – allowing screens to display over 120fps at a consistent high 4K resolution.
Those looking to buy a future proofed monitor or TV will need to ensure that it contains this feature. At the moment, TVs that do are incredibly expensive, which is why many people are turning to monitors. – Something ASUS are aware of.
HDMI 2.1 will also be essential to 8K gaming when this becomes the standard. But we imagine this too won’t be until there’s a mid-gen hardware refresh.
Speaking of mid-gen hardware refreshes, a new leak has potentially teased the name of the Nintendo Switch Pro.
You can check out ASUS's range of monitors here.