Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Sony PlayStation 5

Don’t believe the marketing: every TV is “Ready for PlayStation 5”

Not sure if your TV will run the next PlayStation? Good news: if it was bought in the past decade, you should be fine. Possibly longer.

One of the more questionable approaches by Sony this week was to market some upcoming screens with a tagline that feels like it should help people decide on which TV to buy, but ultimately doesn’t.

Earlier in the week, Sony decided to add something that felt like a certification to two of its upcoming TVs, labelling them as “Ready for PlayStation 5”. With the release of the PS5 set for a few months from now, this sort of label could be really helpful in giving customers some firm idea of which TVs will be suitable for Sony’s next console, a system that boasts some pretty impressive power, and will no doubt look best on newer TVs.

Of course, there’s a lot of complexity in picking a new TV, and between sizes, resolutions, and technologies, much of the confusion could easily be settled with a simple label.

If you’re buying a new TV specifically because you’re buying a new console, having it pointed out that the TV is made to work with that console would be extremely helpful.

But Sony’s approach here might be less than Kosher.

Only Sony TVs carry the tagline

Sony Z8H 8K LED-backlit LCD TV (CES 2020)

Sony calls its “Ready for PlayStation 5” label a tagline made in partnership with Sony Interactive Entertainment, but it’s a tagline that will only go to Sony TVs, something Pickr confirmed with the company this week.

Officially, the tagline is aligned to “models that are capable of displaying 4K/120fps and 8K gameplay images” from the PlayStation 5, which in this case are two of Sony’s upcoming TVs, the X90H and the Z8H. The X90H can do the 4K at 120fps thing, while the Z8H can push it to 8K.

The problem is the tagline reads like a certification, similar to how select Samsung TVs are 8K certified, but that not all 8K TVs bear the tag, even if the standard should be just that: a standard.

When we asked Sony if the certification would be available for any other manufacturer, Sony told Pickr that it couldn’t speak on behalf of other manufacturers. When pressed if Sony would allow competitor TVs supporting the 4K/120p standard to be labelled as “Ready for PlayStation 5”, Sony said:

“Ready for PlayStation is not a certification but a tagline developed by Sony to highlight the TV models (X90H and Z8H) in its range which are Ready for PS5 because they have the ability to display 4K/120 fps.”

It essentially means that Sony’s tagline could be supported by other TVs, though if Sony trademarks it, we may not see that at all.

And while “Ready for PlayStation 5” may already confuse customers if it’s only on Sony TVs, it’s just one half of the problem.

It’s not just new TVs that are “ready”

LG’s 2020 8K OLED TV supports 4K at 120fps

While new TVs will undoubtedly offer a better experience than older screens, thanks in part to the newer technologies found in them, the point is that any TV should be “ready for PlayStation 5”.

The point here is that any and every TV is ready for the new console, much like how any and every TV from the past decade or two should be fine for either it or the Xbox One X.

TVs supporting HDMI 2.1 will provide 4K visuals because of how recent they are, while the PlayStation 5 will also support 8K if you have an 8K-compatible screen. You may not get the 4K at 120fps experience unless your TV supports the technology, but that doesn’t mean your screen isn’t “ready for PlayStation 5”.

It’s worth pointing out that the PS5 will also handle Full HD 1080p over HDMI 1.4, which includes nearly every TV sold in the past decade, and it will likely drop back to both 720p and 480p, too. That means it should handle pretty much any and every TV from the past 20 years, even if the visual experience won’t be as good looking as on those newer screens.

Sony’s “Ready for PlayStation 5” campaign is just marketing

Sony PS5 DualSense controller

Unsurprisingly, Sony’s approach to convince people to buy TVs is just marketing, and marketing that right now benefits just Sony.

It’s not a certification or a standard, even if its very presence suggests it. If you see “Ready for PlayStation 5” on one 4K TV and not another, and that one TV is a Sony and the other not, you know that it’s marketing plain and simple.

It does need to be said that not all Sony TVs are emblazoned with the “Ready for PlayStation 5” tag, either. Most of Sony’s 2020 TV range doesn’t yet carry the tag, which may no doubt concern folks who bought them already thinking the best.

The point here is that they should be just as fine with the Sony PlayStation 5 as other TVs. If they support the 4K at 120 frames per second, even better, but if not, they’ll run the PS5 perfectly fine.

The same goes for the Xbox One X, with both consoles being suitable for any recent TV, though likely performing better on newer TVs overall.

But don’t let the tagline be your guiding factor for buying a new TV, because until it’s something shared around, any TV you buy these days should be “ready for PlayStation 5”, regardless of what Sony suggests.

Read next