4k console gaming

Making the leap to 4K console gaming this holiday

The holiday season is here and it’s the perfect time to make that jump to 4K console gaming. Though it might seem confusing just exactly what you need to enjoy 4K console gaming, I am here to help you out.

You are going to need to know what consoles offer 4K gaming, what external hard drive to get, and what 4K TV will suit you best. Let’s walk through this step by step, and soon you, or the loved one on your holiday shopping list, will be enjoying 4K console gaming.

4k console gaming

Consoles capable of 4K gaming

The first thing we are going to talk and look at together, are your choices for 4K console gaming. We will look and talk about each console so that you can choose the one that is perfect for you or the loved one on your holiday shopping list. Without further ado, let’s get started.

PlayStation 4 Pro – 4K HDR gaming and 4K entertainment

The PlayStation 4 Pro is capable of outputting games with 4K resolution and offers some of the best visuals and performance. Just to give you an idea of how powerful the PlayStation 4 Pro is, compared to the original PlayStation 4/PlayStation 4 Slim it delivers a 30% CPU and 100% GPU boost. Additionally, the PlayStation 4 Pro has an extra 1GB of RAM that is specifically for non-gaming functionality. This gives developers 5.5GB of RAM reserved for gaming at all times.

Playing games in 4K on the PlayStation 4 Pro is like wearing glasses for the first time—it’s that dramatic of an improvement over 1080p. Although the PlayStation 4/PlayStation 4 Slim offers HDR10 support via a firmware update, the experience of HDR10 in 4K is completely mesmerizing. HDR10 allows for a wider range of colours that have brighter highlights and deeper blacks while maintaining clarity and detail on screen.

4k console gaming

Moreover, the draw distance in games has been dramatically improved allowing objects in the background to have greater detail and focus. Some of the biggest improvements in games aside from graphics that you will see are the worlds in which you play.Textures are now much more realistic to the point that you can see dirt on clothing or rust on metal that looks real.

Frame rates are much more stable, and shadows appear sharper with cleaner details at a further distance. Games like Gran Turismo Sport, Horizon: Zero Dawn, L.A. Noire, Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and Wipeout Omega Collection all look stunning on the PlayStation 4 Pro.

When it comes to 4K video content, you can watch 4K content from streaming service providers such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. The PlayStation 4 Pro does not come equipped with an Ultra Blu-ray HD drive. So you won’t be able to view 4K UHD Blu-ray movies.

Xbox One X – The world’s most powerful console with 4K HDR gaming

Microsoft’s much talked about Xbox One X recently launched, and is built from the ground up for 4K gaming. The Xbox One X is over 4.5 times more powerful than the Xbox One, and truly is the world’s most powerful console. It touts an amazing 6 teraflops of graphical processing power, and 9 GB of RAM available to game developers.

The Xbox One X has a lot of horse power under the hood, and with that horse power, it’s capable of delivering some of the most stunning visuals ever all in true 4K HDR10. Additionally, any game that you play on the Xbox One X will be improved in some fashion. You’ll notice  improved texture filtering and better framerates, almost immediately. This applies not only to Xbox One games, but also backwards compatible Xbox 360 and OG Xbox games.

4k console gaming

Games that are Xbox One X enhanced include 4K assets which take up a lot more space than traditional Xbox One games. Enhanced games such as Halo 5, Gears of War 4, Quantum Break and Forza Motorsport 7 take up roughly 100 GB of hard drive space each. On the other hand, enhanced games such as Assassin’s Creed Origins, Shadow of War, Call of Duty World War II, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Star Wars Battle Front II take up between 43-55 GB each.

That Xbox One X comes with an Ultra Blu-ray HD drive, so you can enjoy 4K UHD Blu-ray movies in all of their stunning beauty. Just like the PlayStation 4 Pro, you can stream 4k video from online services to enjoy.

Xbox One S – 4k media playback and upscaled games

If you are on a budget and looking to enter the 4K gaming market, the Xbox One S is perfect. The Xbox One S is not able to output games in true 4K resolution. However, it does utilizes a technology to upscale Xbox One games. To be clear, the Xbox One S does not have the same graphical power as the other two consoles. Though, it produces a picture that is much cleaner and sharper as compared to the original Xbox One.

The Xbox One S supports HDR10, so games such as Forza Horizon 3, Battlefield 1, and Gears of War 4 will benefit from this. Just like the Xbox One X, the Xbox One S comes equipped with an Ultra Blu-ray HD drive.

That means you can enjoy 4K UHD Blu-ray movies in all their 4K glory on your TV. Moreover, the Xbox One S gives you the flexibility to watch 4K content via online video stream services.

4k console gaming

External storage

If you are going make the jump into 4K game, I highly recommend picking up an external USB hard drive. Each console comes with a 1 TB hard drive, but those will fill up fast. You’ll soon find yourself having to uninstall games in order to play new games. Who wants that hassle?!

While you can use virtually any external USB hard drive, I suggest the following. For the Xbox One X Seagate’s 2TB Game Drive, 4TB Game Drive, or 8TB Game Drive are perfect choices for additional storage.

If you are getting a PlayStation 4 Pro, Seagate’s 2TB Game Drive is an excellent choice.

4k console gaming

4K TVs

So, now you are aware of what consoles are out that that offer 4K gaming, and the extra storage you will need. It’s now time to choose a TV that will show off and allow you to enjoy those 4K games. Before we look at a few TVs, I wanted to mention that you don’t have to worry about purchasing an HDMI cable.

Regardless of which console you choose, they all come with the appropriate HDMI cable to give you a great looking picture.

LG 65″ 4K UHD HDR OLED webOS 3.5 Smart TV (OLED65B7P)

If you are looking to get the absolute best picture quality for your 4K console gaming, then look no further than LG’s 65” OLED B7 series TV. Its beautiful OLED screen can display perfect blacks. In addition, it can produce an image that has more depth and a crispness to it that is unrivaled.

It comes with a total of four HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth inputs and HDR10 support. It has only 21 ms of latency in HDR, which means it is responsive enough for competitive gamers.

4k console gaming

Sony 65″ 4K UHD HDR LED Android Smart TV (XBR65X900E)

If the LG 65” OLED B7 series TV doesn’t quite fit your budget, the Sony X900E 4K LED TV is an excellent alternative. This TV offers very similar performance at a lower price. And, has some of the best picture quality that can be found in an LED TV. It offers deep blacks, handles motion very well, and has a bright picture which is great for HDR gaming.

It comes with four HDMI ports with HDR10 support. If you decide to pickup this TV, make sure to plug your 4K console into either HDMI 2 or 3. These two ports are HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth, and will give you the best picture quality. Latency comes in at 34.2 ms in HDR and is good enough for most competitive gamers.

4k console gaming

Samsung 65″ 4K UHD HDR LED Tizen Smart TV (UN65MU8000FXZC)

The Samsung MU8000 65” 4K LED TV is another great TV that wont break your budget. It’s very similar to that Sony X900E 4K LED TV and offers a good picture quality. It has great blacks and contrast, along with good brightness and low input lag.

Latency comes in at a low 24.2 ms in HDR. And, there are a total of four HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth port all with HDR10 support.

4k console gaming

4K console holiday gaming guide made easy

I hope you enjoyed my 4K console holiday gaming guide. With so many choices, it can be difficult to know exactly what you need. Let me know in the comments section, which console and 4K TV you ended up picking up. Did you also get an external hard drive? Happy holidays!

Jon Scarr
Jon is the Gaming Editor and is based in Toronto. He is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. You can often find Jon streaming the latest games on his YouTube channel. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Threads @4ScarrsGaming and @4Scarrsgaming on Instagram.