- 1 Things to know about 4K, Ultra HD (UHD) and HDR
- 2 Video games for PC in 4K
- 3 Video games for consoles in 4K
- 4 Estimated cost for PC and console
- 5 Tricks for higher resolution
- 6 Video games on PC or consoles?
Everybody’s talking about 4K resolution. Cameras and screens improve in weekly cycles, movies and streaming content are produced in 4K. Accordingly, there are also video games in this resolution – both for PC and consoles. We explain which possibilities there are and which technical requirements have to be met.
Things to know about 4K, Ultra HD (UHD) and HDR
As in the television business, the terms 4K, Ultra HD and HDR are used extremely often – although not everything is factually correct. It’s comparable to the graphics in video games.
The industry speaks of upscaling, native 4K, HDR – as long as it sounds innovative and modern. Half truths hide behind it, because real UHD resolution is not used everywhere. Various techniques can be used to maintain the performance of the console or PC.
For example, a television may be referred to as Ultra HD 4K capable if the resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels. “Real” 4K however means 4096 x 2160 pixel. This aspect ratio is used, for example, in cinemas.
Real UHD requires a lot from consoles and PCs, as content can only be partially pre-rendered and most of it has to be generated in real time. The components of a PC and a console run at peak performance and must be correspondingly powerful.
Video games for PC in 4K
According to the monthly hardware/software survey by Steam, only about 1.6% of all players play on Steam with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. The clear majority, about 62%, play in Full HD, i.e. 1920 x 1080 pixels. This is probably due to the fact that the requirements for a PC with UHD resolution are extremely high. The required parts of the computer (graphics card, CPU, graphics memory, hard disks, etc.) are very expensive.
Native 4K resolution means that no upscaling and checkerboard rendering is used to artificially improve the image resolution. Native, real, 4K resolution for game consoles has a pixel ratio of 3840 x 2160 pixels.
After all, the technology is at least available and games move up bit by bit. The biggest production studios and publishers have recently started to produce their titles in native 4K resolution. For example “Fortnite“, “Battlefield 1”, “Grand Theft Auto V” or “Project Cars”.
- 75%Battlefield 1 Revolution [Online Game Code] *$39.99 $9.99As of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- Darksiders Genesis - Collector's Edition - PC Collector's Edition *Not availableAs of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- Madden NFL 20 [Online Game Code] *Not availableAs of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- Project CARS [Online Game Code] *Not availableAs of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- 73%Star Wars Battlefront II [Online Game Code] *$29.99 $7.99As of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
Video games for consoles in 4K
For many years, 4K was not an option for console players – but that changed with the introduction of Playstation 4 Pro in November 2016. This did not mean that all available video games could now be played in 4K. Only a handful supports native 4K resolution. For example “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” or “The Last Of Us Remastered”. Microsoft also offers UHD resolution: Both Xbox One S and Xbox One X are capable of this. The upcoming next-gen consoles Playstation 5 and Xbox Project Scarlett will clearly surpass this again.
Experts believe that the new Xbox will appear in two variants: 1. the gamer variant for demanding use with resolutions up to 8K and 120 fps. Its code name is “Anaconda”. The cheaper, more family-friendly variant has the code name “Lockhart”. These two models could be the respective successors of the powerful Xbox One X and the more beginner-friendly Xbox One S. The new Xbox One X is the most powerful Xbox One X. For this information, however, we do not guarantee.
What is very important to confessing gamers is the frame rate – the number of frames per second. In some of the games mentioned, the frame rate at 4K resolution is “only” 30 fps, which passionate gamers call not very fluid. At each value below, the human eye detects individual frames, losing the video effect. Up to now, very few video games on the console have managed 60 fps at the same high resolution. With performance-oriented gaming, even 100 fps or more are possible on the computer.
Playstation 4 Games in 4K
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - PlayStation 4 Standard Edition *Not availableAs of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - PlayStation 4 *Not availableAs of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- Days Gone - Playstation 4 *$15.93As of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- Madden NFL 20 - PlayStation 4 *Not availableAs of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- 23%Marvel's Spider-Man - PlayStation 4 *$39.99 $22.99As of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
Xbox One Games in 4K
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - Xbox One *Not availableAs of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- 17%Grand Theft Auto V - Xbox One *$29.99 $20.51As of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- 48%Madden NFL 20 - Xbox One *$59.99 $18.00As of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- 51%NBA 2K19 - Xbox One *$19.99 $6.65As of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- Red Dead Redemption 2 - Xbox One *Not availableAs of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
Estimated cost for PC and console
|Console||Playstation 4 Pro||$384.99||/||/|
|Monitor||4K TV, e.g. Samsung Q60R 43"||$697.00||Samsung-U28E590D||$299.99|
|Controller||Sony Dualshock 4||price included||/||/|
|Mouse + Keyboard||/||/||Gaming keyboard and mouse||$26.99|
|CPU||AMD x86-64 AMD 8-core||price included||AMD x86-64 AMD 8-core (FX-8350)||$74.99|
|GPU||AMD Radeon Polaris GPU||price included||AMD Radeon Polaris GPU (RX 480)||$179.00|
|Hard drive||1 TB||price included||1 TB||$48.63|
|RAM||8GB GDDR5||price included||8GB DDR3||$39.99|
|Rest||/||/||Chassis, cables, motherboard, cooler, power supply etc.||≈ $300|
|Gaming loudspeakers||Optional||/||Logitech Z906||$252.52|
|Windows 10 key||/||/||Windows 10 Home key||$139.00|
|Disc drive||Blu-ray disc drive||price included||LG Blu-ray disc drive||$64.68|
|Total||Playstation 4 Pro + amazing 4K TV||$1091.99||Entry-level Gaming PC + 4K monitor and great sound system!||$1425.79|
For the comparative test (as of June 2019) we have adopted a Playstation 4 Pro and put together a PC with comparable technical specifications. While the PC has to be assembled and installed, the Playstation 4 Pro is immediately ready for use.
If you don’t have a TV yet, a 4K TV isn’t exactly cheap – but it’s versatile and not just for gaming. In addition to the existing parts that are built into the PS4 Pro, a pair of gaming speakers is also included with the PC. With the PS4, these are optional, because gaming speakers will sound better than the sound of a 4K TV.
Tricks for higher resolution
Some video games cheat themselves on UHD resolution using a technique called checkerboard rendering. This practice is not to be confused with upscaling. Its purpose is to reduce the load on the GPU and graphics card and keep them running at peak performance. Checkerboard rendering is most easily explained using the example of the chessboard.
The black fields of an entire image are rendered in 4K, while the white fields are not rendered in the resolution. In the next frame white and black can be swapped again. This means that half of all pixels in each frame are rendered in ultra-high resolution. This results in a very high-quality image for the user, which, strictly speaking, is not a 4K image.
Upscaling, on the other hand, is a completely different way of generating 4K resolution. With this method, low-resolution images can be converted to higher resolutions. The free pixels next to existing pixels are filled with color values calculated from the existing pixels. The result is not always very qualitative, as the upscaling must not take any time. Checkerboard rendering usually looks better when gaming, as frames are to be displayed in real time.
Video games on PC or consoles?
Gaming on a computer or console is very different, although the same video games can be played. Both variants are aimed at different target groups who have different needs and desires. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both options.
Games on PC
- Flexibly adaptable to your own needs
- Steady downward compatibility
- Designed for beginners and professional needs
- Higher performance achievable
- Gaming with keyboard or controller
- Online gaming
- More expensive than gaming consoles
Games on console
- Exclusive titles
- Comfortable gambling from the couch
- Meant for casual gaming
- More compact
- Easier operation
- Entertainment station with Netflix & Co.
- Online gaming Games are more expensive than games for PC
- Rarely downward compatible
- Not upgradeable
With these console bundles you can save money!
- Xbox One X 1TB Console - Fallout 76 Bundle *Not availableAs of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Console - Marvel's Spider-Man Bundle [Discontinued] *$374.50As of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- PlayStation 4 Slim 500GB Console - Uncharted 4 Bundle [Discontinued] *$449.99As of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- Xbox One S 1TB Console - Battlefield V Bundle *Not availableAs of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
- Xbox One S 1TB Console - Fortnite Battle Royale Special Edition Bundle *$549.99As of: 2021/01/16 12:20 am *2
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