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Sony: 4K Won't Go Mainstream for Another 5-7 Years

4K high-def is the next big thing, but mainstream acceptance is a ways off.

Sony's magnificent 4K high-definition is quite the achievement. However, it will take some time before it becomes a mainstream feature.

During the Consumer Electronics Show, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai spoke about the future of various Sony technologies, including the announcement of PlayStation Now. He also spoke about when 4K is expected to become commonplace among entertainment seekers. Right now, though, his company is only looking to grab very early adopters.

In speaking to The Verge, Hirai said Sony will undertake a process of slowly integrating 4K into the home. As for how long it will take before 4K becomes a household term, Hirai responded with:

"How long did HD take?"

That's a valid point, of course, and he suggested that it'll take five to seven years before we see the mainstream adoption of 4K resolution. That being said, Sony will actively target those aforementioned early adopters, primarily by showing them the difference between 1080p HD and 4K HD. Your local electronics retailer probably has one such example right now; check it out if you haven't already.

How does the PlayStation 4 fit in?

Well, it doesn't. Although Sony confirmed that their new game console is capable of displaying video in 4K resolution (i.e., movies), it will not support 4K games. There's no way of knowing if developers will even be capable of producing games in 4K resolution this generation, and besides, even when they do, the cost of a 4K HDTV will still be somewhat prohibitive for most consumers.

Still, who doesn't want to see something like Uncharted 5 in 4K HD...? I mean, holy crap.

Published Jan. 8th 2014
  • Ryan Kerns
    Featured Columnist
    Just for the record, 4K games already exist.. Battlefield 4 on the PC is the first that comes to mind. You need 2 high end graphics cards running in SLI... but 4K gaming is here.

    Seems like a likely market for the higher end steam machines. PS4 and Xbox One don't have the graphical horsepower to do native 4K though... unless they figure out some kind of cloud computing voodoo.

    EDIT- Wow... surprising amount of PC games looking amazing at 4K http://imgur.com/a/939zA
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    Are those games all able to actually produce real 4K resolution? Or is it similar to how 4K works for TV now where you have to have a converter that helps bump regular 1080p up to 4K? Those screenshots really are amazingly beautiful though.
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    Battlefield 4 does not natively run in 4K. No games do. You're just talking about upscaling.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    A buddy of mine just bought a brand new TV, he got a great deal on a 1080p. Anyway I went with him just to hang out and see the new TV and yes, they had three 4k TVs set up.

    Holy... Crap... I've never seen anything like it. I couldn't help myself, I stood there and stared for... I have no idea how long. All it was just like little short shots of a city with the cars driving around and then ocean side scenes. Nothing entertaining about the videos being shown except the fact that it was more beautiful than what we see with our own eyes. Seriously epic picture quality.

    Now for the sad part. As of now, no cable provider have advanced enough distribution to even be able to deliver things of 4k quality. Don't quote me, I'm going off memory real quick but from what I've heard is a seemless stream of 4k video requires 1GB/sec connection speeds. That is way way way off from being handled by internet connections and I don't think cable companies will quickly upgrade their distribution to be able to handle it. I was also thinking, I believe the highest capacity Blu-Ray disc is a quad-layered 128GB disc. That isn't enough haha.

    Anyway, we have a whole hell of a long way to go before 4K becomes truely common, not because of the TV itself and it's price, but the price for everything else to accommodate it.

    Don't get me wrong, you get a converter for 4K TV's that take existing HD cable and enhance it for 4K. But that's lame, I want REAL 4K.

    4K games though, now that is just a wet dream.

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