If you own a 4K resolution TV screen or monitor – as many gamers do these days, you are already used to enjoying the crispest visuals possible when you play your favorite video games. Nonetheless, as immersive as your 4K gaming experience is right now, there’s lots of room for improvement with the next-generation leap to 8K resolution. Well, as mind-blowing as the visual experience is, adopting the resolution for the average consumer will take some time, as has been the case with all other video formats.
For instance, the first HD TVs were first sold in 1998, but it took another decade before the High-Definition format was adopted as the new standard for movie releases. This then trickled down to gaming with Blu-ray discs for full HD gaming, and from there, even simple online games started being released in full HD resolutions. Still, while 4K is now the mainstream video resolution since the adoption began around 2012, many gamers use 1080p resolution for their gaming to date. Even the games you’ll find in casino online Canada platforms are in full HD, which, admittedly, is immersive enough for iGaming enthusiasts.
Therefore, while 8K is the next big thing when we speak of gaming resolution, consumers don’t seem to be done with previous generations of video formats yet. With that in mind, how soon should we expect 8K TVs and displays to be available to the average gamer? Today, we seek to demystify the seemingly sluggish penetration of 8K resolution display to the mass market and when it might finally become a mainstream technology.
What is 8K Resolution?
First things first, what is 8K resolution? Well, 8K is meant to be the clearest resolution seen to date. With a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels – a total of 33,177,600 pixels, it has four times more pixels than 4K images. The more pixels in a display panel, the better the image clarity. For now, however, there are a few hurdles that this visual technology has to jump before mass-market adoption:
Content and Support
Given that 8k is still a new concept, only a small number of TVs today can support it. And when it comes to gaming, Sony and Microsoft, the makers of the X Box Series X and the PlayStation 5 consoles, respectively, have recently teased the availability of 8K gaming on their platforms. Still, until now, there is little evidence to show for 8K gaming.
Likewise, there are hardly any movies or TV shows in the showbiz world that are shot in 8K. And by the way, the majority of films and TV shows in production are still being natively released in full HD. With the unavailability of 8K content right now, it is easy to be skeptical about the 8K – this begs the question, are we getting ahead of ourselves here?
Well, console makers have already put out attention-grabbing 8K headlines to interest the masses in their games. But is there any truth to their promises to deliver 8K gaming to users, or is this just a marketing gimmick?
As we speak, the first native 8K game, The Touryst from Shin’en Multimedia, is already out, and on paper, it should be playable in full resolution on PlayStation 5. But then, there’s a slight problem with the PlayStation 5 as it doesn’t support 8K output through HDMI 2.1 even though there’s a conspicuous 8K logo on the console itself. That’s because the game renders its content in 8K, but the PS5 software downscales it to 4K resolution. However, according to Sony, the PS5 console will receive a firmware update in the future that will finally allow the console to offer full 8K support.
8K gaming is a massive upgrade, but it doesn’t come cheap like most new technologies. The starting price for 8K TVs ranges at about 2,000 CAD, whereas the premium models currently cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, that’s a bit too expensive for a TV set for most people, especially given that you can grab a 4K TV set for less than 500 CAD.
Invest Now or Later?
While the gaming console giants are yet to fully release an 8K gaming experience, it does not mean that you can’t already enjoy 8K gaming. PC graphics card manufacturers took the forefront on this one with the new Nvidia RTX 30-series, the first to support 8K.
Nonetheless, due to the slow pace, it is picking up, it would not be wise to invest in 8K gaming now. Instead, it would do you good to hold your horses, mainly because there is generally a lack of 8K content both in gaming and the showbiz industry. Besides, it’s also wise to play the waiting game, at least for now, because of how much it will cost you – these prices will drop significantly in the next couple of years, and the technology will definitely be so much better.
In as much as console manufacturers might have overstated their hands on how fast 8K gaming will come, it is undoubtedly coming. But unfortunately, the reality is that 8K gaming will take another couple of years before the average user can get their hands on this leading-edge visual immersion.