Gaming Console 101

Do You Need a 4K TV for PS5?

do you need a 4K TV for PS5 featured

PlayStation, like any new toy, has the ability to bring out your inner child. In the pursuit of making the ultimate gaming cave, you can be tempted to invest in expensive toys like a 4K TV to go along with your PS5.

But do you need a 4K TV for PS5 in the first place? and is a 4K TV even worth the upgrade on a PS5?

Well, as for the first question, no you DO NOT need to have a 4K TV in order to enjoy PS5. As for the second question, well, that is subjective. It all depends upon your preference for quality gaming.

So with all the hype surrounding the PS5 and 4K gaming, it’s only natural to wonder whether you need to pair these two technological titans together for the ultimate gaming experience.

But as I will dispel in the text below, 4K TVs aren’t really necessary.

Display Modes Supported by PS5

Before I talk about 4K TVs and 4K gaming on PS5, let me first talk about the display modes PS5 supports.

PS5 supports the following resolution, refresh rate, and aspect ratio:

  • 1080 @ 30Hz – 30 FPS – 16:9
  • 1080 @ 60Hz – 60 FPS – 16:9
  • 1080 @ 120Hz – 120FPS – 16:9
  • 1440 @ 30Hz – 16:9
  • 1440 @ 60Hz – 16:9
  • 1440 @ 120Hz – 16:9
  • 4k @ 30Hz – 16:9
  • 4k @ 60Hz – 16:9
  • 4k @ 120Hz – 16:9

It should be noted that PS5 is fairly stringent with the display modes it supports. As such, it does not support a higher than 120Hz refresh rate, an ultrawide (21:9), or a super ultrawide aspect ratio (32:9).

Refresh Rate, of course, relates to the frame rate of the game. 60 Hz = 60 FPS, 120Hz = 120 FPS.

Now in order to run the maximum supported display mode i.e 4K @ 120Hz, you need to have a TV with the rated specs in the first place.

But as you can see, QHD and FHD display modes are also supported.

Also Read: Does PS5 Need 120Hz TV?

So Do You Need a 4K TV for PS5?

Looking at the display modes above, it should be clear that you DO NOT NEED to have a 4K TV in order to enjoy PS5.

While these high-definition marvels have enough pixels to make even the most hardened pixel counter swoon, they are not an ABSOLUTE necessity.

But of course, there are pros and cons to having a 4K TV and not having one. Let me list some of them here:

Advantages of Having a 4K TV

Quality at its Peak

4k vs FHD
Source: YT Channel @ Ultimate Qball

When you combine the power of a PS5 with a 4K TV, you’re essentially creating a match made in gaming heaven.

Imagine gazing upon the detailed wrinkles on an elderly character’s face, or marveling at every blade of grass swaying in the wind as you traverse a virtual world.

With a 4K TV, you can immerse yourself in a gaming experience that is so lifelike, you might find yourself questioning your own existence – that is a bit of an exaggeration but you get my point.

Improved Color Depth and Contrast Ratio

4K TVs are not just packed with a lot of pixels, they also often employ technologies that can make even the most mundane in-game objects appears stunning.

Do You Need a 4K TV for PS5
Local dimming is a technique in which only the LED lights directly behind an image turn on improving the contrast ratio by a ton.

OLED and QLED panels, local/fully array dimming, high bit depth, improved HDR, etc, are some of the technologies that the premium 4K TV offer to enhance the quality of the picture.

Future Proofing your Gaming Setup

As game developers continue to push the envelope, you can expect more and more titles to be optimized for 4K resolution.

By investing in a 4K TV now, you would be able to enjoy the latest and upcoming gaming masterpieces in all their high-definition glory.

And of course, the 4K TV will not just be limited to gaming, you’d be able to enjoy a world of 4K multimedia and content such as TV shows, and streaming services.

Why 4K TV May NOT be Worth It (Disadvantages)

Graphics Isn’t Only About Resolution

There is A LOT that goes into making graphics look realistic and resolution is only one small part of it.

You have aspects like texture details, lighting details, shadow details, water details, particles, smoke, atmosphere, foliage, etc that all contribute to the overall fidelity of the game.

ray tracing PS4 vs PS5

Image Source:

PS5 can generate the same quality of content on a 4K TV as it would on a 1080P TV.

And of course, features like ray tracing that makes lighting and shadows more realistic will work the same way on a 1080P TV as it would on a 4K TV.

Hence, for purely graphical purposes, 1080P TV, or a QHD Monitor, may not be half as bad as you think.

Faster Performance and Load Times

Similar to the graphics fidelity, you’ll also benefit from faster performance and load times thanks to the SSD installed regardless of whether you are on an FHD or a 4K TV.

Higher Frame Rates

One aspect of the PlayStation 5 that is it gives you control over whether you prefer to go for the quality of the performance mode.

Quality mode favors a high resolution (4k) but at the expense of frame rate. Many games on Quality mode play at 4K @ 60 FPS or even 4K @ 30 FPS.

Eldern Ring, for instance, only works at native 4K @ 30 FPS on quality mode.

For the frame rate junkies, this will not sit well with them. 

Performance mode, however, allows you to push the frame rate limit at the cost of the resolution. So you can expect modes such as 1080 or QHD @ 120 frames per second.

So for those who prefer having a higher frame rate as supposed to a higher resolution, then 4K can actually be a deal breaker and a waste of money since there are practically NO games that support 4K @ 120 FPS.

This brings me to the final and perhaps the most important point

Cost Benefit Analysis of PS5 on 1080P TV

While the siren call of 4K may be alluring, it’s worth remembering that 1080p TVs still have a lot to offer as discussed above.

You are not losing the graphics fidelity, faster load times, or frame rates on 1080P TVs.

Sure, you might not get every single pixel, but with a 1080p TV, you can still enjoy your PS5 games without breaking the bank or having to sell a kidney.

And plus if you prefer frame rate over anything else (competitive gamers do), then the notion of getting a 4K TV goes out the window completely.

Games DO NOT have a latent requirement for 4K TVs. So you’ll be able to enjoy all the latest titles anyways regardless of the resolution of your TV.

Atif Qazi

Atif Qazi is the founder of and a huge gaming nerd. Thanks to the vast gaming experience under his belt, you can often find him writing detailed pieces of content on gaming hardware and console. But in all honesty, nothing gives him more pleasure than 'one-shotting' everyone as a stealth archer in ESO: Skyrim.

Add comment