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What Is 4K Gaming? Why Does It Matter In The Gaming World?

Whether you prefer to play on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, any of their predecessors, handheld consoles, or on PC there are certain aspects of those systems that made you choose them. Is it because they are more customizable? Less expensive? Have a more game selection more suited to your preferences? Better Graphics? Who knows?

However, there is one new feature in gaming that those of you who care about graphics will want to know about, known as 4K gaming. 4k gaming is a relatively new feature on consoles where the consoles now play games in a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels which is the resolution for movies and TV shows. Microsoft’s latest console, the Xbox One X, formerly known as “Project Scorpio”, supports this feature the best out of any console currently available, Sony’s PS4 Pro and Microsoft’s Xbox One S support this feature too, but not as well as the Xbox One X.

How 4K gaming works is that 4K is the resolution something is played back at, which allows more detail to be seen in the images during gameplay, as well as an increase in the range and brightness of the color on your screen. However, when purchasing a new console it is important to check if it really supports 4K playback, as it can be easily confused with HDR or UHD. The Xbox One S was the first console to receive UHD support as well as 4K resolution, but not exactly in the way gamers may think. The UHD is only available for streaming videos (Hulu, YouTube, Netflix etc.) however, Microsoft has designed the Xbox One S to upscale 1080p games to 4K resolution allowing the games to be shown in boosted frame rates, brighter color, and better pixelation.

Some games such as Gears of War 4, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare have received updates for the HDR capabilities of the Xbox One S. The PS4 Pro is capable of running games at 4K resolution, but the in order to do so the games will need to be specifically built or updated, depending on the game there is are different ways to use the resolution and frame rates to get the most out of the graphic display of the game however, not all developers have interest in updating their games to meet 4K needs, but luckily the PS4 Pro can also upscale these games to 4K resolution in the same way the Xbox One S can.

The final and supposedly most efficient system in terms of 4K gaming is the recently revealed Xbox One X, The new console will be able to play select games in 4K as well as stream in 4K, the system will also feature HDR support, and UHD support. For now, the titles that are able to play 4K on the Xbox One X is small due to the consoles recent release but we can expect to see more titles with 4K gaming in the future. For all those who prefer to play on PC and Nintendo, setting a 4K gaming PC can prove to be rather difficult as the finding a correct HDMI cable, game box, and monitor that truly offer 4K is rare and expensive as well as finding games that support 4K gaming will also be a hassle and Nintendo has completely left out 4K gaming all together. Truthfully we’re still taking our first steps into 4K gaming, but with further development gamers can expect to see titles with 4K gaming display in the near future. Happy gaming!

Featured Image via Flickr/Gronkh

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