What does 8K resolution support mean for the PlayStation 5?

Best answer: 8K resolution means that games will be more detailed than ever, but in most cases you may not be able to tell the difference between 8K and 4K while you're playing a game.

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What is 8K resolution?

8K resolution is 7680x4320 pixels, which is four times the resolution of 4K at 3840x2160 pixels. 4K itself is four times the resolution of high definition 1080p images. This makes 8K sixteen times the resolution of a 1080p image.

High resolution images are sharper, clearer, and show finer detail than that of lower resolutions. What may have been slightly blurry in a 1080p image will be clear in a 4K image because the amount of pixels allows it to display more details.

How many people even own 4K televisions?

The 4K adoption rate has long outpaced that of HDTV. According to market research firm ABI Research, shipments of 4K televisions worldwide was expected to exceed 102 million units by the end of 2018. This represents roughly 40% of flat panel televisions shipped in that time.

Are 8K televisions widely available?

You can certainly find 8K televisions at most storefronts that sell televisions, especially Best Buy and Amazon, but they aren't as popular or numerous as 4K televisions are. Because of this, you'll have an easier time finding them online than in-store. Part of this is due to their exorbitant prices, which usually exceed a few thousand dollars and can even reach as high as $13,000 if you go for one of the larger models. And going for the larger models is a good idea considering you won't be able to notice a difference between 4K and 8K on a smaller display.

At an HDMI Forum press conference at CES 2018, it was estimated that only 900,000 8K televisions would be shipping in 2020, and over half of those would be in China alone.

Can the human eye tell the difference between 4K and 8K?

Any perceptible difference between the two resolutions depends on your viewing environment. While 8K technically has four times the amount of detail, you would need an incredibly large screen to tell any difference, and even then, it would be minor. The smaller the screen you have — and the further away you sit from it — the less likely you are to notice any differences between the two resolutions, and there comes a point when the human eye cannot discern a difference at all.

The optimal viewing distance of a 75-inch 8K screen is just over two feet away, while the optimal viewing distance for the same size television at 4K is nearly five feet. No one will reasonably sit two feet away from a 75-inch screen, and if you sit back any farther than five feet both images will look the same to your eye as you cannot perceptibly tell a difference.

What does this really mean for PlayStation 5 games?

As far as resolution goes, 8K means you'll get more detailed textures across the board, whether you're looking at environmental shots or character models. But will you be able to tell a noticeable difference when you're playing compared to a game in 4K? In most cases, probably not.

What it means for the install sizes of games is that they'll only be getting bigger.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.