Xbox’s Phil Spencer calls the game in 8K “an aspirational technology,” but that’s what we said about 4K years ago

The new Xbox Series X will finally allow you to enjoy games in 4K and 60 FPS. That is one of the great promises of the “next-gen” consoles, which with their graphical power will achieve something that seemed unthinkable years ago, but what about the 8K option that was mentioned before the official launch?

For Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, playing 8K doesn’t seem like much more than an “aspirational technology” , and in fact he stated that he believed that “we are years away from 8K becoming – if it ever does. time- standard in video games. ” The second part of the sentence softens those impressions and opens the door to that possibility, and here it is good to remember that years ago it also seemed impossible that we could play 4K as standard.

The problem: 4K TVs are still in the adoption period

In an interview on Wired Spencer explained that although the Xbox Series X is technically capable of displaying content in 8K (that is, at 7,680 x 4,320 pixels resolution), there are many more factors to consider here.

The first of them, having a television or an 8K monitor , something that for now represents a very small part of the population. Many users – the subscriber is one of them – still have a 1080p television in the living room, and it seems that it will still take some time for 4K televisions to dominate strongly. The latest data reveals that in 2019 there were already more 4K televisions than 1080p / 720p, but the progression is not being too fast.

That means that we will probably have to wait years to enjoy 8K televisions and monitors in a massive way, and that seems the main barrier to 8K gaming. In fact, there are already options to be able to play at that resolution (if you have an 8K TV or monitor, we insist).

The new generation consoles already have GPUs with support for those resolutions , and their HDMI 2.1 ports guarantee precisely the support of this video output. Probably only undemanding games could go more or less fluent at that resolution on these consoles, but there is another alternative.

It is of course the PC world, which has just seen how powerful new NVIDIA graphics with Ampere architecture have come to market . The most ambitious, the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090, in fact allow to play at 8K , something that NVIDIA itself mentions when talking about this model and that in fact it recently promoted in a video on its official YouTube channel.

Considering that NVIDIA has taken only two years to make this generational leap from its RTX 2000 to the current RTX 3000, it seems quite feasible that in a period of 4 or 5 years the game at 8K will be a palpable reality .

By then it is very possible that 8K monitors and televisions will be much more numerous and at more affordable prices, but perhaps the problem is not so much in that aspect as in the fact that at the distance at which we place ourselves from the television or monitor to play the difference between playing 4K or 8K is not too noticeable . That, of course, will have to be proved.

John Hartshorne
Senior IT engineer by the UPM of training and technical editor by profession, I have been writing in print and online media since the late 90s.