Sony is already a household name when it comes to consumer electronics. And for the past 25 years, Sony has carved itself a niche in the video game industry, as they now offer gaming consoles.
But how good is the Sony brand when it comes to gaming, as a whole, and are Sony TVs good for gaming?
Here’s What You Need to Know about Sony TVs and Their Capacity for Video Games.
Sony is an industry leader when it comes to home electronics. While Sony TVs may not top many gaming lists, they are worth considering, as they have plenty of features to make gaming and TV viewing a great experience.
How Much Input Lag Do Sony TVs Have?
The input lag of Sony TVs depends on the model, the resolution, and the refresh rate.
- The lowest input lag you can get on a Sony TV is from the X900H. With a Refresh Rate of 120 Hz and 4k resolution, you get an input lag of 6.7 ms.
- The highest input lag on a Sony TV is 43.5 ms at 120 Hz and 1440p resolution, which can be found on the A9G. Its lowest input lag is rated at 27 ms with a Refresh Rate of 60 Hz and a resolution of 1440p.
What Are The Refresh Rates On Sony TVs?
Most Sony TVs on the market have a Refresh Rate between 60 Hz and 120 Hz.
Do Sony TVs Have a Variable Refresh Rate?
Some of the modern Sony TVs now feature Variable Refresh Rate, which allows the TV to switch to an appropriate refresh rate depending on what you are doing.
This feature is helpful as it reduces frame stuttering and tearing for a smoother visual experience.
Note that Sony has announced that Variable Refresh Rates specified by HDMI 2.1 do not work yet with AMD Free Sync, which is used for PC-based video games.
Do Sony TVs Have a “Game Mode”?
New Sony TVs now come with a Game Mode that you can use when playing video games on your TV.
Game Mode allows you to divert part of the processing power of your TV from image rendering to better response time.
The process of activating Game Mode depends on your TV model.
If your Sony TV has the Scene button on the remote control, press it and scroll down until the Game option is selected. Then press the Plus button in the middle of the arrow buttons on your remote.
If your Sony TV does not have the scene button, you can follow these steps to activate Game Mode.
- Go to the Settings Menu, or the Tool Box icon, depending on your TV model.
- Press the Plus button on your remote control.
- Go to Setup and press the Plus button again, then look for the Picture Settings. (If your TV uses icons for menu items and subheadings, look for the cube inside a rectangle with a wrench, which is used to denote Picture Settings.)
- Look for Game Mode by scrolling down, then press the right arrow button to activate it.
- Press the Home or Menu button to save your settings and exit to the main page.
Note that some Sony TVs feature Automatic Game Mode, which allows the TV to switch automatically based on the hardware plugged into the HDMI port.
Can All Sony TVs Be Used As Computer Monitors?
You can use any modern Sony TV as a computer monitor.
But note that you may also experience delays in keyboard strokes or mouse movement, which is why switching to Game Mode when using your TV as a computer monitor is a great choice.
Aside from video games, Game Mode also helps address input lags from devices such as keyboards, mice, graphing tablets, and other similar input devices.
What About Sony PlayStation and Xbox Compatibility?
You won’t have any issues using a Sony TV when used with gaming consoles such as the PlayStation and Xbox.
Do People Generally Use Sony TVs For Gaming?
Sony might not be the top pick among TV reviews for gaming on the Internet, but it is still reliable.
Sony TVs such as A8H and X900 have been noted for their gaming performance.
How Good Is the Image Quality and Resolution?
Sony TVs have good image quality and resolution, especially the models that come with OLED displays.
But even their LED offerings are quite powerful and offer good picture detail.
It’s also worth noting that Sony TVs in general have good upscaling, so you can use devices with a lower resolution with it.
Are Sony TVs Durable?
Sony claims that their TVs have an LED lifespan of 60,000 hours, which is more than the average lifespan of an LED TV.
And being an institution in the electronics industry for decades now, you can rely on Sony to churn out durable products that will last.
Sony has maintained its good reputation in the electronics industry for decades, so you should feel confident buying a Sony.
What Features Should I Look for in a Gaming TV or Monitor?
When you’re buying a TV to use for gaming, there are a few important things to consider.
- Low Latency or Lag. The best TVs or monitors for gaming have a latency or input lag of 30ms and below.
- Refresh Rate. 60 Hz is good, but if you can spring for 120 Hz with Variable Refresh Rate, that would be best.
- 4k and HDR support. 4k resolutions are pretty much a standard now for TVs, but HDR has yet to be a standard for gaming. Having both helps in future-proofing.
- Video Inputs. Make sure you have all possible video inputs, although gaming consoles use HDMI.
Ideally, you would want a TV or monitor that has all these features. But truth be told, having all these features in a TV or display can be quite expensive.
If you can’t get all these features, you should focus on low latency and 4k and HDR support.
What Are the Best Sony TVs for Gaming?
Sony A8H OLED
The Sony A8H OLED TV is the best you can get right now from the brand.
- The input lag is low, and it has a fast response time. Even in HDR gaming, the A8H performs quite well, and fast movement is displayed sharply.
- This TV comes with an OLED display, which means great image quality.
- It can also handle reflections and glare quite well.
- Since it is a Sony, this TV comes with the Android TV platform. You get access to one of the widest app selections available for smart TVs.
- Viewing angles are also not a problem, so you can have guests over when playing multi-player games.
But while very powerful, the A8H has its share of weaknesses.
- The first on the list is the lack of an Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate. Although it already has a low input lag, these two features could help enhance what is already a good gaming experience.
- The second weakness is its OLED display, which is prone to burn-in, as all OLED displays are. That may be a deal-breaker, but as long as you shuffle content frequently, it should not be a problem.
With all things considered, the A8H is a powerful TV for gaming.
Sony A9S OLED
The Sony A9S is another good option to consider. It is very similar to the A8H, but it is slightly more expensive.
- Like the A8H, the A9S has a low input lag and near-instantaneous response time.
- The A9S also has an OLED display and does well when playing HDR games.
- Lighting conditions are not a problem, so you can watch the A9S in well-lit and dim rooms with no problem.
- Viewing angles are wide so the whole gang can enjoy games with you.
- The A9S runs the Android OS, like the A8H.
- The A9S lacks a variable refresh rate and Auto-Low Latency Mode.
- There’s also that risk of burn-in, which is present with all OLED displays.
If you’re looking for the difference between the A8H and the A9S, it’s the price and the available screen sizes.
The A9S has a slightly higher suggested retail price, and it only comes in a 49-inch display size. The A8H, meanwhile, comes in 55 and 65-inch screen sizes.
If you are into HDR gaming, the X900H should be on your list.
- It comes with amazing color accuracy and does not need any calibration out of the box. Expect a wide color gamut, exceptional contrast ratio, and local dimming, which makes the X900H exceptional for HDR content.
- The X900H also has black frame insertion, which helps clear motion blur, especially when playing 120 FPS titles.
- Expect low input lag and fast response time on the X900H. And while it still does not support Variable Refresh Rates, a firmware update is expected to activate this feature in the future.
- The X900H uses an LED display, unlike the previous TVs listed. That is not a bad thing, since you won’t have to face the risk of burn-in associated with OLEDs.
- It can also handle different lighting conditions, although dim rooms won’t be as great as OLED displays.
- This TV has narrow viewing angles, which means it works best when playing solo.
Sony’s X950H is another formidable choice for a gaming TV.
- Like the X900H, the X950H has a great color calibration out of the box and works well in different lighting.
- It has a low input lag and the response time is noteworthy, as it makes fast-paced scenes look slick.
- When it comes to HDR, the X950H has a remarkable color gamut and high peak brightness, which lets images stand out.
- The X950H supports a 120 Hz refresh rate, but it does not have a variable refresh rate.
- It also lacks wide viewing angles, even though the TV has Sony’s X-Wide Angle. That should not be a problem if you are playing games by yourself in front of the screen.
Sony might not be on top of many lists for gaming TVs, but they remain a strong force on the TV market.
Sony TVs cost a bit more than their rivals, but that’s the premium price you pay for a Sony product. After all, you are not just paying for a product, but also for Sony’s continued research and development on improving their line of home electronics.