3 minute read
One of the best aspects of the continuing evolution of consoles has been the methodical shift towards bringing PC like functionality.
From genres previously exclusive to the PC to added tools, systems like the PS5 show that we’re long past the days of being relegated to a slim subset of features.
A side effect of these blurred lines has been the increased usage of PC monitors to game on systems like the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. Thankfully, this use case is as easy as ever and even more pronounced with added features to monitors such as HDR, high refresh rates, and increased resolutions.
The PS5 does not support DisplayPort
If you are looking to use a monitor to play on your new PS5 then it’s important to know that the only supported input is HDMI. DisplayPort is currently not supported on the system (and likely never will be).
Why would someone opt for DisplayPort over HDMI?
For some it’s not a matter of preference. While not as common, some monitors only support DisplayPort.
In terms of technical capabilities, the support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) has predated the inclusion on the HDMI standard. An exclusive feature – available since DisplayPort 1.2 – is the ability to use multiple monitors with a single output. The feature, Multi-Stream Transport, is highly convenient for those looking to boost productivity or multitask while gaming (especially when using a laptop).
The PS5 is no different from the PS4 in that you can’t use a dual monitor setup.
The latter is not relevant to the PS5 – it does not support multiple monitors – but shows the capability of the interface when applied to the traditional PC setup.
HDMI 2.1 to the rescue
If you own a monitor that supports 120 FPS or 4K, you’ll be able to enjoy either when gaming on the PS5. HDMI 2.1 will allow for the bandwidth to enjoy both at the same time.
It’s unlikely we will see most PS5 games reach 120 FPS, but some titles already support the feature and more are sure to come.
In terms of VRR, it’s still up in the air if preexisting G-Sync and FreeSync monitors will be able to take advantage of the feature. Sony has recently announced that a firmware update will add VRR support for TVs through HDMI 2.1. The language indicates that the feature will come to “compatible TVs” which is vague in the context of monitors that already have VRR without HDMI 2.1.
Another omission related to gaming monitors is 1440p support. If you own a 1440p monitor you won’t be able to play at that resolution. Instead, the system will output at 1080p. According to Sony, support may arrive in a future update.
The short of it is that, in the absence of HDMI 2.1 monitors, the situation with gaming monitors and next-gen features is a bit messy.
Thankfully, upcoming HDMI 2.1 monitors look to solve some of these issues (but will also certainly be pricey).
Upcoming HDMI 2.1 monitors for the PS5 (and Xbox Series X|S)
We’re still very early yet in the production of HDMI 2.1 TVs and monitors with the spec haven’t even reached the market. Manufacturers are just now announcing upcoming monitors with support for next-gen features like VRR, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and 4K 120 FPS.
Asus, one of the leading monitor manufacturers, has stated that a new lineup of HDMI 2.1 monitors will be released this holiday season. The monitors will be available in 27, 32, and 43 inch models.
News about other HDMI 2.1 gaming monitors is sparse for now, but other leading manufacturers like Dell, Acer, Samsung, and BenQ will surely follow in time.
The only option for taking advantage of the new spec lies in one of the few HDMI 2.1 TVs on the market. Those wanting the monitor experience – and this sort of setup is becoming much more common with console players – will have to play the waiting game for now.