4K is being hailed as the future of television even although at present there is not really enough 4K content available to make buying a 4K television worthwhile. Very few TV providers have started to broadcast in 4K format and BluRay will not be compatible until the end of this year at the earliest. However, a growing number of manufacturers are saying that Gamers are one group of people who should be looking to buy a 4K television sooner rather than later. Is this just an attempt to boost early uptake of 4K or can gamers really benefit from switching to a 4K television?
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Console Gamers Don’t Yet Have Access to 4K Games
At the moment, if you are a console gamer then you do not yet have access to 4K games. Even ‘next generation’ consoles like Sony’s Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One do not yet have the capability to play 4K games. Even if the functionality was able to be added, the result would not be true 4K but rather upconvertion to 1080p. This is a similar process to how the Playstation 2 dealt with 1080i when the Playstation 3 was released. To be frank, the only way you are going to be able to game in true 4K at the moment is on a PC. Console gamers will be waiting until at least the next round of consoles for the opportunity.
PC Gamers Would Need A Very Powerful Machine
Now, before the PC gamers out there rush out and buy a 4K screen let’s just be clear – increasing the resolution of games to 4K puts a massive amount of strain on your PC graphics card. Unless you are gaming on an incredibly powerful processor then you are probably going to have to reduce your image quality anyway which kind of defeats the purpose of playing a 4K game in the first place, doesn’t it!
Even if you do have the PC power required to run 4K, the overall image improvement you are going to see is minimal in non 4K games. Tests have suggested you might notice crisper edges, but not a major improvement. There still is very little 4K gaming on the market, so it is going to be a few years before we start seeing those amazing graphics that 4K is promising.
Let’s Talk About Lag
As a gamer, one of the most important factors is input lag – or the time it takes for the screen to render an image. This matters because it alters your reaction time and thus can affect your scores or performance. A good example is an enemy rounding a corner. If you experience a lot of lag then you will take more time to see him and react appropriately. At the moment, most 4K televisions do not have a great input lag compared to 1080p televisions and computer monitors.
Television Still Matters
Let’s face it – even the most avid gamer still takes a break from gaming to catch a favourite show on television. Right now if you compare various tv providers on sites like http://www.tvproviders.com/comcast/, you will note that there are very few channels broadcasting in 4K at the moment so you would not even be benefiting from that until gaming catches up.
In conclusion, gamers, like television viewers, should hold off on handing over the big bucks for a 4K television right now. Games have not yet caught up to the format so it is best to wait until there are more games and the televisions themselves drop in price a little before committing to buy one.