Video games became something entirely different when they shifted from 2D to 3D. The transformation was revolutionary and games were never the same. When standard-definition (SD) gaming evolved to high-definition (HD), it was yet another revolutionary shift in how gamers see video games.
4K and HDR are technologies that gaming is getting behind. But what will the ultimate impact be when gamers see what 4K and HDR can truly do? Well, it might not be as significant of a jump as what people saw when gaming went through either of the aforementioned transitions.
4K and HDR are challenging mostly because they’re difficult to demonstrate for a massive amount of people. The differences are there and they are real, however, they are much more difficult to truly see. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer spoke about a major challenge facing our current generation of hardware.
“One of the challenges for the generation we’re in now is the jump from 360 to Xbox One, or frankly PS3 to PS4, is visible on screen but not at that same level. It’s not a 2D to 3D transition or an SD to HD transition. You have to be closer to understanding the content and appreciating the content, because those late-gen 360 games look pretty good.
“When I see 4K games, they look demonstrably better, but it’s not the same difference that we saw from SD to HD, or from 2D to 3D when gaming went that direction. HDR is the same way: I love the way movies and games look in HDR, but I don’t think it’s that same transformative thing that we saw with [earlier leaps],” Spencer told GI.
Demonstrating these games for a massive audience is becoming more difficult too. E3 will forever be different because companies can “showcase” games in 4K and HDR. However, for those watching at home, it’s impossible to truly see the difference.
Most people’s laptops, computers and, to some extent TVs, aren’t 4K or HDR capable. This means that when someone says gameplay is being shown in 4K with HDR capabilities, it kind of means nothing to a lot of people.
Being able to see just how powerful the shift truly is between playing video games in 4K and HDR versus HD will be a gradual transformation. PS4 Pro will launch this Nov. 10 and it’s the first system that should be able to showcase true 4K. Project Scorpio will follow Pro’s release with one of its own during holiday 2017. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on video games.