Sony makes great TVs. Look at our best TV guide and you’ll see that.
But, despite being responsible for the PS5 – one of the best consoles we’ve ever had the pleasure to use – it’s surprisingly never been THE best at making a top-end TV to go with it.
Jump on over to our best gaming TV guide, and you’ll notice there isn’t a single Sony set in it. This isn’t because they offer bad picture or sound quality or are missing key features such as 4K/120Hz or VRR – in fact, read our review of the Sony A95K and you’ll see it delivers on all these areas in spades.
It’s because, unlike LG, whose C2 and G2 dominate our best gaming TV guide, it makes one crucial error – even its most premium TVs have just two HDMI 2.1 slots that can take full advantage of a PS5's and Xbox Series X/S's, most interesting features.
This may not sound like a big deal, but in my experience, this limitation is a key annoyance that actually grows over time.
It should come as no surprise that I like my gadgets. So as well as a PS5 I have a top-end gaming PC, a soundbar and an Apple TV 4K that I want to attach to my telly.
Having a miserly two HDMI 2.1s, one of which doubles as the eARC port, means I can’t have all of them easily plugged in at once. This has caused me no amount of bother having to swap cables around each week depending on which console I’m playing and if my other half is streaming Ted Lasso that particular evening. The annoyance isn’t helped by the fact I’ve got awful cable management.
This is why, when Sony’s shiny new A95L was unveiled this afternoon, I couldn’t help but feel a twang of disappointment when I got halfway through TV & AV Editor Tom Parsons’ news to find Sony hasn’t fixed this issue on the new flagship.
Despite being rammed with awesome new gaming features – highlights include a ‘200 per cent’ brighter QD-OLED panel, Dolby Vision gaming support and a new game menu that includes a cool option to reduce the size of the window games play on – it has an identical number of HDMI 2.1 ports to its predecessor.
To be fair to Sony, it isn’t the only company making this mistake. Philips and Panasonic sets do it too. There’s also a technical reason for it. Specifically that the MediaTek-made HDMI chips these companies use don’t support more than two 2.1s.
But, I can’t help but think that Sony, as a gaming company, should do better. I mean, surely it’s not too much to expect the company behind the PS5 to understand what gamers want? Not having this issue fixed on the new A95L feels like a real missed opportunity as a result.
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