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PS5 & Xbox Series X Have A Big HDMI 2.1 Communication Problem

To be able to view the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X's in the best graphical capabilities you will require an 8K TV to connect the HDMI 2.1 output from either model or a compatible HDMI 2.1 TV, which could cause some major confusion.

Xbox Series X Specification (as known)CPU: 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT) 7nm

GPU: 12 TFLOPs, 52 CUs at 1.825GHz, Custom RDNA 2

Memory: 16GB GDDR6

Storage: 1TB custom NVMe SSD

Optical drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray

Ports: HDMI 2.1 output, 3x USB 3.2, RJ45 Networking port, expanded storage slot, power input

120 fps support

Potential 8K resolutions

Ray-tracing technology

Variable Rate Shading for more stable frame rates

Compatible with Xbox One accessories

Smart Delivery


Sony and Microsoft are taking drastically different approaches to their next-gen console releases, but both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X rely on one piece of technology to get the most out of their hardware's upgraded graphical power: HDMI 2.1. What might seem like a slight change from current-gen HDMI 2.0b actually makes a big difference for PS5 and Xbox Series X, and HDMI 2.1 is bound to cause confusion among consumers about what they need to make next-gen count.

Sony finally revealed the PS5's specs in a recent presentation, following a long period of relative silence from the company. Microsoft, on the other hand, has continually revealed gameplay, tech demos, and other information on the Xbox Series X - including a full reveal of the console's physical appearance, which Sony has yet to do. Sony's reasons for not showing the PS5 are logical, however. It has a clear advantage over Microsoft, with the PS4 outselling the Xbox One by a wide margin. But given the recent reveal of its console's specs, Sony might finally be gearing up to give PlayStation fans a closer look at the new system.

Along with all those newly revealed hardware details, both Microsoft and Sony confirmed their new consoles will support HDMI 2.1. This new technology requires a set of compatible TVs, consoles, and connecting cables in order to fully experience the potential of next-gen gaming graphics, and the subtle differences between compatible products and non-compatible ones could lead to frustration among buyers.

Why PS5 & Xbox Series X's HDMI 2.1 Could Cause Problems

Both new consoles support 4K resolution at 120 FPS, 8K resolution at 60 FPS, and variable refresh rate ("VRR," which can help prevent issues like screen-tearing and input lag), but all of these features require both a compatible TV and video output cable (HDMI 2.1). The increased gigabit-per-second rate of HDMI 2.1 over HDMI 2.0b allows it to deliver 4K120 and 8K60 from the console to the TV, but that doesn't mean anyone who plugs an HDMI 2.1 cable into their TV will experience these benefits.

Only select TVs support HDMI 2.1 (which happens to look nearly identical to HDMI 2.0b). Not all TVs with HDMI 2.1 ports actually support features like VRR and auto low-latency mode. Making matters worse, even if a certain TV says it supports VRR, that could mean it supports the full 120 FPS next-gen consoles allow, or it supports only up to 60 FPS. It's easy to imagine a scenario where an unaware gamer walks into an electronics store and remembers Sony telling them the PS5 can output 4K120 with VRR, but then ends up coming home with a TV that can't actually take full advantage of that.

The Latest Playstation 5 requires an HDMI 2.1 connecting cable to an 8K TV/Monitor