It's been a bit quiet on the TV front in the last few months, thanks to the massive elephant in the room: 8K. The new consoles aren't out until next year, and we're still waiting for the best technologies like OLED to drop down to an affordable price point.
But LG has dropped a neat surprise: their existing 2019 OLED TVs have been validated through Nvidia's G-SYNC compatibility process, making them a nice option for anyone who wants a decent large-size gaming screen.
Nvidia has been working on large format low-latency displays for a while, but there's two problems. They're expensive as all hell, and they're basically not available in Australia. Big screen TVs, on the other hand, are available just about everywhere. The main kicker is that the input lag and response time isn't anywhere close to what you'd want from a gaming-first screen.
So the news that Nvidia has validated LG's 2019 OLED models is very, very interesting. In a release amidst all the post-IFA news, LG said their 55-inch and 65-inch E9 screens, and the 55/65/75-inch C9 screens are all now G-SYNC compatible.
"The TVs offer an ultra-fast response time with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. Input lag – which can make the difference between victory and defeat – is barely perceptible at a 6 milliseconds range for 1440p content at 120 Hz and 13 milliseconds range for 4K content at 60 Hz," LG said in a release. The compatibility will be rolled out via a firmware update in "select markets" over the coming weeks, which is expected to include Australia given the TV's availability locally.
Nvidia added that HDMI variable refresh rate support is being rolled out to their 20-series RTX GPUs. Variable refresh rate support is baked into the HDMI 2.1 standard that's appeared in most TVs from 2019, but none of the RTX cards support HDMI 2.1. AMD's recently released Radeon 5700 and 5700 XT only support HDMI 2.0, and we won't see HDMI 2.1 support until the launch of next year's Navi hardware (since the next Xbox and PS5 will support HDMI 2.1 by default).
The future of consoles is just over a year away. There's plenty of key questions still unanswered, like how the major publishers will approach retail versus digital sales in 2020 and beyond. But if you're interested in knowing what the next PlayStation can do, there's a ton of info already out there.
Of course, it's still worth asking: is it better to grab a 2019 model now, knowing that 4K/60Hz is the most those current screens can achieve, or wait until 2021-2022 when 4K/120Hz is more standardised, and input latencies at that range are even lower? It depends on your exact gaming needs, but the fact that the question is becoming more complicated is a nice problem to have. Monitors and TVs are expensive enough as-is, and nothing brings down price better than competition.