- This November, both Microsoft and Sony are launching next-gen video game consoles.
- Both companies are promising consoles capable of producing more dazzling visuals than ever before: 4K resolution at 120 frames-per-second.
- Like previous console generations, that visual leap requires a new type of television that’s capable of supporting such high-res gameplay — and those TVs are rare and very expensive.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
This November, Microsoft’s new Xbox and Sony’s new PlayStation are scheduled to go head-to-head in a competition for control over the next generation of video game consoles.
With that new generation comes the next major leap in graphics technology: Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are boasting 4K resolution games at a stunningly high refresh rate of 120Hz. What that means in English is extremely crisp image quality paired with very smooth motion. Games on both new consoles are promised to look better than ever.
Whether your television is actually capable of producing those visuals is another question altogether.
Gallery: A history of foldable smartphones in photos, from the groundbreaking Kyocera Echo to the new $1,400 Motorola Razr (Business Insider)
A history of foldable smartphones in photos, from the groundbreaking Kyocera Echo to the new $1,400 Motorola Razr
In 2006, Polymer Vision unveiled a rollable E-reader called the Readius, though it was just a concept. The screen folded over itself several times to become more compact.
In 2008, Nokia’s animation of a thin, foldable glass smartphone got attention from journalists and tech fans for what seemed impossible at the time.
In 2011, the Kyocera Echo stood out as an early foldable phone that was actually made it to market, though it had dual screens instead of a single foldable screen.
In a review at the time, Business Insider’s Steve Kovach noted that it looked similar to a Nintendo DS.
In 2017, ZTE’s Axon M was built around the same concept, with dual screens connected by a hinge.
In a review at the time, Business Insider’s Antonio Villas-Boas noted that while the dual screens could be useful, the hinge got in the way of the experience.
In 2018, Chinese tech company Royole brought the first foldable phone with a flexible OLED display, the FlexPai.
The 7.8-inch screen folded in half but didn’t actually fold flat. Early reviews called the phone “bulky” and difficult to hold.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold went on sale in April 2019 for a hefty $2000. In a review at the time, Business Insider’s Lisa Eadicicco noted the convenience of a phone that could fit in your pocket, yet unfold to nearly the size of an iPad mini.
Some reviewers reported broken screens and felt that the product wasn’t quite ready for market yet.
Only four days after Samsung’s release, Huawei unveiled the Mate X foldable phone.
The rollout of the $2,400 Mate X was delayed when a US trade blacklist blocked Huawei from using Google Android services.
In February 2020, Motorola announced the Razr foldable phone, based on the classic Razr flip phone design.
A Business Insider review at the time noted that instead of unfolding out into extra, sometimes unnecessary screen space, the Razr can fold down to more easily fit in pockets.
Days later, Samsung announced the Galaxy Z Flip.
Unlike other foldable phones on the mark, the Galaxy Z Flip has a glass screen, which reviewers approved of.
Apple seems to be the only cell phone company not working on a foldable phone design, although patents give a hint at what a folding iPhone might one day look like.
Apple most recent folding patent is from July, for a screen that is still partially visible when folded.
This month, Microsoft is launching the $1,400 Surface Duo, a phone with two screens that opens like a book.
The two 5.6 inch screens are connected by a 360-degree hinge that can fold into different modes, or be used as one giant screen.
Business Insider’s Lisa Eadicicco found that the device is too small to replace a tablet, but large and unwieldy when operating with one hand.
But, she said that the way some apps are designed to work well across the two screens made her optimistic about Microsoft’s ambitions and folding phones in general.
Motorola announced an updated version of the Razr available October 2 starting at $1,400 with 5G support, a new camera, and updated components for better performance.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Motorola confirmed that it is doubling down on foldable phones, despite mixed reviews in the past. “We’re confident in our foldable system, which is why we retained much of the same technology from the first iteration of Razr.”
For a television to display 4K resolution games running at such high frame rates, it needs to support those specs — and the vast majority of TVs do not, including many many new sets that support both 4K resolution and HDR visuals. That’s because TVs with support for such high frame rates with 4K resolutions are still brand new, and most are still prohibitively expensive.
You’re looking at $950 on the low end — and much higher if you want something larger than 55 inches — for TVs that support those specs. Beyond producing 4K resolution visuals at 120Hz, TVs that fully support the next-gen consoles also need a new type of HDMI port to handle all that data: HDMI 2.1.
The latest version of HDMI is only available on the newest modern TVs — many existing 4K and HDR TVs don’t have it, and there’s no way to upgrade an existing port.
In so many words: If you want to take full advantage of the power of the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, you’ll almost certainly need a new television.
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