PS5 and Xbox gamers don't need 144Hz TVs – at least not yet

(Image credit: Future / Microsoft Flight Simulator)

TV spec upgrades are a little thin on the ground this year, but one new spec that is doing the rounds is support for 144Hz signals. A feature of the new LG C4 and G4, and Samsung models such as the S95D, QN95D and QN900D, this is an upgrade on the super-popular 4K/120Hz gaming spec. Exciting, right? Actually, only for a very limited number of people.

For those not in the know, 4K/120Hz gaming involves a console or PC outputting a game in 4K resolution at 120fps to a 4K display that can refresh 120 times per second. It results in a super-responsive, super-smooth experience that not only looks and feels great but can also give you a competitive advantage in fast-paced online games.

Upping the frame/refresh rate to 144Hz of course has the potential to improve this even further and, in fact, 144Hz monitors have been available for quite some time. The problem is that outputting games at higher frame rates requires more processing power from the console or PC, which is likely a key reason that no current console can handle 144Hz gaming.

There’s no real reason that a console couldn’t offer 144Hz gaming at resolutions below 4K so that someone could, for example, select to save processing power by dropping to 1080p so that it could be used to increase the frame rate to 144fps, and this is in fact what many PC gamers do when responsiveness matters more than fidelity. Console makers, though, tend to be more precious and controlling over how their platform’s games are presented, so either the PS5 or Xbox Series X offering such an option feels unlikely, particularly in the case of the PlayStation.

There is every chance that the rumoured PS5 Pro and/or an equivalent new Xbox will feature an increase from 4K/120Hz to 4K/144Hz – after all, there seems to be no appetite for increasing resolution beyond 4K – but we could equally be waiting for full, next-gen consoles before that upgrade materialises.

In the meantime, only hardcore PC gamers will be able to take advantage of the 144Hz support of this year’s best gaming TVs.


Check out our full review of the 144Hz LG C4

And here's our Samsung S95D review

These are the very best TVs you can buy right now

Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets' and even cars) for over 15 years. He began his career as What Hi-Fi?'s Staff Writer and is now the TV and AV Editor. In between, he worked as Reviews Editor and then Deputy Editor at Stuff, and over the years has had his work featured in publications such as T3, The Telegraph and Louder. He's also appeared on BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Swipe. In his spare time Tom is a runner and gamer.