Nowhere does the relentless march of technology move so fast as the action packed world of gaming. The current leading edge of gaming is a double edged sword; one edge of the blade is the new PS4 Pro while the other is the incredible LG 55B6T OLED TV. With the release of the PS4 Pro and recent price drop of the LG B6T OLEDs this is a technology combination that is now accessible to many.
The 4K PS4 Pro is providing compelling content for all of those starved next generation TV’s out there and with it Sony may have stolen the gaming lead, even against the mighty PC gaming rig. The PC 4k gaming market is still a mess and Microsoft are months away from their 4k Xbone so for now it’s all PS4 Pro. It is hands down the best gaming experience in town. A big statement that I back up with one simple fact, the PS4 Pro is delivering the goods now.
Pair the PS4 Pro with an OLED TV and you are as close to gaming nirvana as any gamer has ever been. Luscious games booming out of a screen so clear and sharp you will duck as drops of rain hit the windscreen in DriveClub. You will duck as bullets wiz past your head in Battlefield and you will smile as Lara Croft ducks, weaves and jumps, in a not so bouncy style.
A combination that induces the most amazing wow moments. A wow power so great that even the technologically challenged notice the picture. Surprisingly it is actually the purity of the white that shocks people the most. Yes, the blacks are pitch black, the colours natural yet rich but the whites are what get you. In fact the display on the laptop used to drive the TV looks yellow sitting next to the OLED, like a bad case of jaundice kind of yellow. I’ll post a full review of the LG 55B6T OLED soon, stay tuned.
Knocking down the Gates of Nirvana
With Styrofoam and plastic wrappers strewn from wall to wall the OLED was ready with the PS4 Pro in place on the right hand side. From memory my first impression of the Pro was ‘hell yeah that’s a good looking console.’ Not as bulky as the original PS4 but larger than the Slim, this is probably the best looking console Sony has made to date.
Now, let the power of electricity bring you to life. Cabled, powered and manuals ignored, check. Time to hit the button baby. Button is probably being generous too, it’s more of a space on the front you press at, and where the button should be is the smallest logo anyone has every bothered to use. Logo or not press it I did and a satisfying blue glow illuminated the front, the start-up sounds played and I looked up to a completely black screen, as mentioned before its pitch and it stayed that way.
Yes, the revolution was almost over before it began, out of the box the LG and Sony did not want to play nice. A quick question to uncle Google revealed it was an issue being enjoyed by many, a HDMI handshake issue. The solution was simple; on the TV enable the High Colour mode for the HDMI the PS4 is on. Then start the PS4 but after you release the power button hold it down again till you hear a second beep. This reveals the PS4 settings screen where you can set the HDCP and resolution. There is plenty of info here. LG are working on a patch.
First hurdle cleared now time to get my user setup and start gaming. After the first hour of working through the setup it occurred to me that Sony are taking security seriously. Actually the thought that went through my mind was ‘Someone hacked before?!’
Why the extra Grunt Matters!
With only a week of play under my belt let me just say the entire world can just f.off, I’m staying home. Sure most of the technological euphoria being experienced by yours truly is down to the OLED experience I can’t overstate that its only the Pro that can drive the TV to its full potential.
DriveClub has been my game of choice over the last week. Joining this particular club opens a world of racing 2 and 4 wheeled vehicles. There are plenty of game options from random to building your own championships and maps galore. I’m still loving random mode, the challenge of any car and track combination being thrown up. Even the essential replay mode is there for post race bragging.
The graphics are pretty damn good with fast frame rates (yup even at 4k), super sharp jaggie free detail and amazing lighting, especially the lightning bolts that land right next to the track during night racing. The seat of the pants feeling is good and the controls are responsive which in my opinion is the key to a really enjoyable racer. And DriveClub is a good racer all round, not quite the same depth as Gran Tourismo but it’s fun and visually very impressive. This game wasn’t optimized for the Pro but looked damn good anyway.
The new Tomb Raider was simply stunning, every pixel dancing, this is big production AAA gaming at its best, but there was a but. It’s sort of become an annoying game, robot like; do this, go over there, jump that. No cajoling or subtle direction through interesting story, maybe its just not my kind of game, not sure. I ended up loaning this one to a friend and got back to racing.
Now there is nothing more to do but hit the non button, bask in the blue glow of start-up and sit so close to the TV that people think I’m wearing it like some over-sized VR. The future of gaming has arrived and its glorious.
Athol Courtenay out.