The question “can consoles run at 144Hz” is something that frequently gets asked, especially since the announcement of the next generation of consoles by Microsoft and Sony. The answer is not straight forward, but we will cover everything you need to know in this article.
So can consoles run at 144Hz? Technically consoles have more than enough power to run games at 144Hz at 1080p, but it is up to developers to choose to do so. If you have purchased, or are considering purchasing, a 144Hz monitor for your PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, or Xbox One X, the answer is no, none of those consoles support 144Hz.
However, even if your console does not support 144Hz, having such a monitor will still improve how a game plays and your overall experience. Having a good gaming monitor with high refresh rates also gives you some future-proofing for when you decide to upgrade to a PC or next-gen console.
The pros and cons of consoles on monitors
The first thing that needs to be mentioned is the benefit of using a monitor when gaming on a console. The biggest upside is the response time, also known as input-lag. The input lag is the time it takes for your screen to display what is happening with the gaming device, so when you press a button, it takes time for your action to be displayed on your screen.
On a TV, the average response time is getting better, with the average now sitting at 10ms on some 1080p panels. As you increase the resolution of a TV, the input lag increases. Most gaming monitors have a response time of 1ms, and this is great for first-person shooter games, racing games, and sports games. Having this type of response time will often give you a competitive edge in multiplayer games and provides the player with a smoother overall experience.
The downside to using a monitor for console gaming is convenience. A gaming console is most commonly used in the lounge as a gaming device and entertainment system. Using a monitor will limit you to a dedicated section of your house where you will need to set up a desk. In other words, your console is now far less portable.
PS4 and Xbox One
Although the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X do support 4k at 60Hz, both consoles do not support 144Hz refresh rates, even at 1080p. The hardware in the systems are locked to certain parameters to make life easier for game developers. Another thing to note is that most console gamers use their chosen gaming console on TV’s.
It also has to do with the demographics. At the moment, only a small amount of TV brands support 144Hz, and they can be very costly, so it makes sense for game developers and console manufacturers to optimize the hardware and software for the screens that most gamers use.
PS5 and Xbox Series X
Microsoft has hinted that their latest console, the Xbox Series X will support higher framerates. This is a welcome change for gamers who want that competitive edge while playing games like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Rocket League, and more. It is clear that both Sony and Microsoft will focus on “hardcore gamers” with their emphasis on raw gaming power.
With the extra power, buying a 144Hz gaming monitor will be well worth it, even though it is still up to game developers on whether they will allow their games to run at the higher framerates.
Why developers lock the framerates when creating console games
It is all about the demographics of who plays games on consoles and what is available to those gamers in terms of TV’s. Most TV’s still only goes up to 60Hz, so developers prioritize visuals and graphical fidelity over framerates as it is easier to promote graphics to the mass console demographic than it is to promote high refresh rates.
With that target in mind, developers will cap their framerate, making it easier for them to code within the limitations of the hardware that they are developing for.
Best 144Hz gaming monitors for consoles
When buying a monitor, there are a few things to look out for. There are different panels, and each offers its pros and cons. The most common panels are IPS, VA, and TN. Let us have a quick look at each.
IPS stands for “In-Plane-Switching” and is considered to be the best panel for gaming as it offers the best viewing angles and color accuracy. IPS panels used to be capped at a 4ms response time but have recently started coming out with 1ms panels.
The color accuracy makes the IPS panel a first choice for content creators and gamers. It also costs more than the other panels that we are discussing in this article.
VA stands for “Vertical alignment” and is the most rounded of the three panels. You could think of a VA panel as the middle ground between the three. VA panels offer excellent response times, good looking visuals in terms of color reproduction, and are budget-friendly.
Before you go out and get yourself a monitor with a VA panel, it is important to note that VA panels often suffer from ghosting, which is especially noticeable when playing fast fps shooters like Apex Legends, Call Of Duty, and Ubisoft’s Hyper Scape.
TN stands for “twisted Nematic,” and this is often the entry-level panel. TN panels are the cheapest of the three, and even though they used to offer the best refresh rate, they have the lowest color accuracy and image quality.
Hopefully, that gives you enough information to make an informed decision on what to look for in a monitor. Another thing to note is AMD Freesync and Nvidia Gsync technologies.
These technologies limit the amount of screen tearing by syncing the framerates between your device and screen. Because consoles use AMD for their components, it is best to get a monitor that has AMD Freesync or Adaptive sync, which is a combination of both.
The ASUS VG279Q is an excellent option for anyone who is looking for a 1080p, IPS, 144Hz Freesync monitor. It comes with everything you need to get the most out of your gaming experience. The monitor sells for $295, and you can find out more about the monitor here. ASUS VG279Q.
If you are looking for something a little more budget-friendly, AOC C27G1 is a 27 inch 1080p, 144Hz VA panel monitor with Freesync. The AOC retails for $189 and is well worth the money. You can find out more about this monitor here. AOC C27G1.
Other benefits of higher refresh rates
Higher refresh rates make games look and feel a lot smoother. They also give the player a competitive advantage in multiplayer games by making everything more responsive. When playing multiplayer shooter games, having the added responsiveness and having your monitor display what is happening in-game at a faster rate will make for a better experience.
Although consoles do have the power to run games at high frames per second, most developers choose to focus more on graphical fidelity rather than framerates when developing for consoles.
The majority of console gamers game on their TV and developers aim to please the majority of people who play their game. Graphics also sell better than what refresh rates do, especially on console. With the new consoles set to launch soon, we can only hope for the option to choose between graphics or refresh rates.
Remember, whatever you choose to game on, the most important part of gaming is to have fun.