The Xbox One family will be the first generation of game consoles capable of outputting games at up to 120 Hz. It will be added with the May software update.
120Hz comes to consoles
Frame rate is one area where PCs have been ahead game consoles for years. Game consoles today can simply not output gameplay at more than 60 Hz. That changes next month.
- ”In April, we added variable refresh rate, 1440p resolution support, and auto low latency mode. But we aren’t done just yet. In May, we’re adding support for additional panel refresh rates. Gamers with gaming monitors and televisions that support a 120Hz refresh rate can now turn on 120Hz support for 1080p and 1440p output resolutions. This high refresh rate option means you can now take full advantage of displays with 120Hz capabilities,” said Microsoft.
This is surely an exciting first step for game consoles into HFR, or high frame rate, and we hope Sony will follow Microsoft’s example in the near future.
Lots of questions
Microsoft did not detail its plans so it is a little unclear if both Xbox One S and One X will support 120Hz. However, to keep a high and steady frame rate at 1080p or 1440p resolution you need the Xbox One X anyway.
It is not clear either if any games are ready to take advantage of this.
The update will not add support for 120Hz at 4K resolution since it requires the higher bandwidth in HDMI 2.1. Now, it is possible that Microsoft is planning to do more. The company has said that it will update Xbox One X with certain HDMI 2.1 features (the first HDMI 2.1 features were added in the April update).
120Hz with Xbox One will require a gaming monitor or a TV capable of receiving 120Hz video input. Some TVs already support 120Hz input at 1080p resolution but only Samsung’s 2018 TVs will support 120Hz FreeSync and HDMI VRR. These are adaptive frame rate systems that ensure that the game output and display remain in perfect syncronization for the smoothest possible gaming experience.
In an update earlier this month, Microsoft added support for FreeSync, 1440p resolution, HDMI VRR, and HDMI’s ’Auto Low Latency Mode’. Enabling support for 120Hz output is a natural next step.
The update is scheduled to be released in May and Microsoft will demonstrate the capabilities at E3 in June. The update will also include new functionality such as improved family settings, the ability to organize games or apps in ”groups”, and other tweaks.