Sony is gearing up for its big PlayStation 5 launch later this year, and part of the plan is apparently to market some of its TVs a “Ready for PlayStation 5.” Just a few days after Sony made that proclamation, we’re learning that the TVs aren’t actually ready for the PS5, and that just muddies the waters that much more.
The upcoming console generation will implement several powerful features under the HDMI 2.1 specification to enhance the experience. For example, the PS5 will support 4K resolution with up to 120 fps (4K120), provided you have a TV that plays nice with the console. That requires HDMI 2.1, which can include myriad other features. Sony’s “Ready for PlayStation 5” label certainly suggests the X900H ($1,000) and the 8K Z8H ($6,000) televisions have those technologies, but Sony is getting a bit ahead of itself.
Both the X900H and the Z8H support 4K120 content, at least in theory. The cheaper X900H (below) doesn’t support any HDMI 2.1 features at this time, but it will get an update later that adds support. That update should also enable auto low-latency mode (ALLM), variable refresh rate (VRR), and eARC (an improved audio return channel).
The obscenely expensive Z8H does come with 4K120 and eARC right now, but it doesn’t have VRR or ALLM. This TV also can only do 4K120 on one of its four HDMI ports. Anyone who was hoping to keep both next-gen consoles hooked up will have to look elsewhere to get the best experience.
In a statement to The Verge, Sony said the 4K120 support (and 8K in the case of the Z8H) makes these TV’s ready for the PS5. Although, X900H isn’t even “ready” by that standard — it needs an update. That says nothing of other HDMI 2.1 features.
The realm of high-end TV features is a minefield of acronyms and conflicting standards, and Sony’s attempt to label some of its TVs as “ready” for the PS5 just confuses matters further. Just because at TV has HDMI 2.1 does not mean it will support all the features Sony intends to use in the PS5. You would think that Sony could make sure its own TVs support those features before promoting them for the PS5, but here we are. The company can’t even promise that the aforementioned update will come to its TVs in time for the PS5 launch. “Ready for PlayStation 5” appears to mean something more along the lines of “Recommended for PS5 Based on Theoretical Future Performance You Can’t Buy Yet.” Doesn’t have the same ring to it.