The next generation of home game consoles is quickly approaching, with both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X scheduled to arrive this holiday 2020 season. While processing speeds and teraflops are weighed to see which is more powerful, others are more excited by the thought of which games may accompany each piece of hardware. There’s also continued support for the Nintendo Switch to consider, as more and more releases arrive on the ever-popular home/portable hybrid gaming platform.
With so much going on–and still so much left unknown–it can be a bit confusing to prep for the next generation of gaming. Fortunately, what little is known about the PS5 and Xbox Series X has provided us with enough to begin cooking up ideas on how to prepare the ultimate gaming setup ahead of their launch.
Building Your Existing Gaming Library for the Next Generation
Both Sony and Microsoft will feature backward compatibility on their new platforms to some extent. While the full picture of what this means isn’t entirely clear, the titles purchased on Xbox One or PS4 will likely carry over onto a corresponding upgrade.
Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 5 will feature support for almost 4,000 different PS4 games. While the list of titles hasn’t been made available yet; this, presumably, means titles like God of War and Rainbow Six Siege will boot up just fine on the hardware, carrying over all of your heard-earned progress in the process. Plus, the PS5 is capable of running games more fluidly than they did on the original PlayStation platform they launched on. Now, envision swinging around New York City in Marvel’s Spider-Man with faster processing and load times reduced to an almost instantaneous boot up. Yep, that also means some very quick subway rides for the webhead.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has been very upfront about what backward compatibility means for Xbox Series X, allowing access to the entire library of currently compatible Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles. Furthermore, the company is offering a feature dubbed “Smart Delivery” where gamers will receive the appropriate version of the game they’ve purchase depending on which Xbox they’re playing on. This means that if you purchase Halo Infinite on Xbox One and then upgrade your console later on, you’ll receive the Xbox Series X version of the game without paying anything in addition. As of this writing, Cyberpunk 2077 will also utilize the ‘Smart Delivery’ feature and many others are expected to follow.
Setting Up Your Gaming Setup
Choosing your platform (or budgeting for both) is sure to impact the layout of your gaming setup. Additionally, available space in your living area is quickly becoming a factor in what’s feasible. Truth be told, the PS5 is currently without formal dimensions, which makes planning a space for gaming session a wee bit more difficult. Those that already have their hearts set on jumping into a high-octane game of Call of Duty: Warzone on Xbox Series X later this year will have to set aside space to accommodate its 151mm x 151mm x 301mm frame–with a little extra room to allow for proper airflow to the unit.
The additional power of the next generation gaming consoles also requires a high-performance TV to keep the colors crisp and the action flowing. Add in the need for near-instant response time for inputs (something of great importance during an online matchup) and it’s clear that a ready and able television is essential if you’re planning to get them most out of your spiffy new Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5. Something along the lines of a low-latency 6-Series (featuring Auto Game Mode) would go a long way in reducing input lag, while providing support for other game-changing technologies like 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos.
Best of all, this is something you can begin setting up and budgeting for now so it’s ready to be put to immediate use later this year. Besides, reducing the probability of technical headaches ahead of the launch of your preferred next-gen console is well worth putting some effort into now.
The Future of 8K Gaming
A new generation of gaming platforms brings with it the opportunity to enhance the capabilities of your setup as you await the future of 8K gaming. Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are set to delivery 8K-quality experiences, which means the future isn’t all that far off. Of course, a new jump in technology can be an confusing thing to ponder. All you really need to know is that 8K resolution technology is effectively four times the number of pixels as the majorly-supported 4K resolution. The latter will still be supported by next-gen platforms, making options like the next-generation 8-Series TV from TCL a strong contender for those looking to upgrade their home theater setup.
If you’re eager to jump into 8K gaming then you should note that this requires a solid TV to make the most out of extra power of the PS5 or Xbox Series X. Fortunately, TCL has some major plans to support 8K as it becomes the new normal for gamers, movie aficionados and binge watchers alike. These units will be rolling out in 2020, setting up their release timing perfectly with the new toys dropping from Microsoft and Sony in Holiday 2020.
With the power of 8K, epic and immersive adventures like Halo Infinite and Godfall could really enhance the benefit of purchasing the latest pair of consoles. Plus, these sorts of experiences will only improve with time as studios adjust to what’s possible on PlayStation 5 and Series X.
Preparing Perfect Peripherals for Playing
As of this writing, Microsoft has confirmed that all existing Xbox One controllers will be supported by Xbox Series X. This means that you can keep your current lineup of Xbox controllers out of storage bins and on your coffee table. A majority of your current gaming headsets will also work on the Series X, making the upgrade a rather easy one. Add in a subscription to Xbox Game Pass (which will feature Halo Infinite in its lineup at launch), and you’re looking at a very affordable setup one Day One.
Several reports aside, Sony has yet to officially confirm whether or not its DualShock 4 controller will be compatible with the upcoming PlayStation 5. Given the backward compatibility of the PS5 console, this seems possible, but we’ll have to await further news on the platform for the time being. Still, once the lineup of official games arrives, picking and choosing which titles are a no-brainer buy with your budget will be a must. I’m personally still keeping my fingers crossed for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2, but I won’t hold my breath.
The possibility of forward-compatible peripherals aside, it’s important to note whether or not your brand-spanking-new video game console is being used primarily for solo or co-op play. If you have another gamer in your living space, grabbing an extra controller may not be a bad idea. Conversely, if you want to play games without hindering those around you, a headset that properly conveys the sounds of the in-game world that you are exploring may be right up your alley.
At the end of the day, your setup is a reflection of how and what you play, so you’ll know how to make the best use out of that space a result.