For much of the past year, a key topic undergirding conversation of new high-end TVs has been how exactly they will work with the newest gaming consoles upon their arrival.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X (and S) finally arrived on the market last week, and the following week, Microsoft has announced a partnership with a major TV manufacturer, to recommend its TVs for use with the Xbox console.
The Xbox division and LG announced Wednesday that they have entered into an “exclusive marketing partnership,” which is meant to “highlight the phenomenal gaming experience of the widely anticipated Xbox Series X console and LG OLED TV in key markets.” The companies have agreed to make LG’s OLED TVs the “official TV partner” of the new Xbox in key markets across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific. The deal does not list North America as one of its regions.
The deal will entail special retailer events, and other marketing synergies.
The announcement drew surprise from some, noted that Microsoft has long-standing ties with a different South Korea-based TV manufacturer, Samsung.
“We take the needs of gamers very seriously when developing our OLED TVs so to be able to be an official partner to Xbox Series X is a partnership that is very meaningful to us,” S.P. Baik, head of the TV product planning division of LG’s Home Entertainment Company, said in the company’s announcement. “We’re confident that the heightened visual quality from combining LG OLED TV and Xbox Series X will blow gamers away.”
“With its self-lit pixel technology, LG OLED TV boasts superior picture quality with vibrant, natural colors and infinite contrast,” LG added in its announcement. “And as the first TV and the first game console to support Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, LG OLED TV and Xbox Series X will draw gamers even deeper into the action with dynamic images and sounds.”
On the review website RTINGS, the current overall rankings of TVs list LG 4K OLED models, all from either 2019 or 2020, in the top six spots. All six of them, which include the LG E9, C9, and B9 from 2019 and the LG GX, CX, and BX from 2020, were given a “Video Games” score of at least nine, which in all cases are higher than the overall “mixed usage” score for the TVs.
Sony doesn’t appear to have announced an “official TV” for the PlayStation 5, although Sony, unlike Microsoft, makes its own TVs.
“The combination of LG’s most advanced TV and Xbox’s most powerful console ever allow both casual and serious gamers alike to enjoy next-generation gaming today. With features such as an ultra-fast 1ms response time with low input lag and support for the latest HDMI specifications including Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and enhanced return audio channel (eARC), games not only look and sound better, they’re more responsive,” the companies said.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.