Skip to main content

Sony and Microsoft's 4K consoles are more of an afterthought than a revolution


So why has Microsoft and the rumour machine that surrounds PlayStation and its semi-confirmed 'Neo' PS4 upgrade become so obsessed with gaming at 3,840 by 2,160 pixels? It all comes back to that opening thought - the hook; the buzzword; the killer feature. Some might say VR will be this generation's defining feature, but that's foolish talk. VR isn't a peripheral - it's a platform all its own that will sink or swim on the strength of applications built specifically for it. To that end, console gaming needs 4K, HDR and the rest of the future gang.

The future is 4K

So will 4K, when it arrives in gaming in the PlayStation Neo (expect a predictably literal change of name from Sony nearer the time) and Project Scorpio, effectively kill of HD? Of course not. To be it more succinctly, 4K is what Blu-ray was to disc formats. Yes, it offered better picture quality, more dynamic special features and greater space options but it didn't kill DVD as a standard. If anything, the time DVD spent at the top of the disc food chain and the cost effectiveness of their production only makes it more of an immovable format.

4K will come, and it will make some games look incredible, but it won't drag HD from its throne and run it through with a blade made of progress overnight. Ultra HD TVs, as with every new feature-led generation will need to prove itself in the commercial sector before consumers start investing their faith and their cash in such format. 4K gaming can only succeed if the format has already seeded in the commercial sector, and only then will the new revolution really start.

But graphical resolution feels a long way off, so for the time being let's all sit back and enjoy what developers can do with a pair of current-gen consoles that are barely three years old.