Immersive, 3D, and ultra-fast displays take over video games at CES 2024
CES 2024 is an important cradle for new technological developments aimed at gaming. This year the screens are the protagonists.
For decades, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been the platform to announce some of the most influential innovations in gaming. 2024 is no different as big companies like Xbox, PlayStation and Samsung made some giant gamer-related announcements at the conference, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada from 9 - 12 January.
From ergonomic controllers of the future, to comfortable headrests for gamer chairs, and powerful new graphics cards, there was no shortage of slick new technology on display for the gaming community at CES.
However, after the dust settled in the Las Vegas desert, perhaps the most notable theme in gaming to come out of CES was displays.
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Over the years, advancements in virtual reality (VR) and graphics cards have moved the gaming experience ever closer toward "photorealism," meaning that video games are approaching the experience of life in the real world.
But it's not just VR that is transforming this immersive experience. Increasingly, larger monitors, curved screens and panels that can be viewed horizontally or vertically, have pushed the gaming experience to the next level.
At CES 2024, these next-gen displays were on exhibit, sparking excitement for gamers across the globe.
A 3D experience with no glasses needed
The Acer Predator SpatialLabs View 27, a variant of Acer's existing SpatialLabs displays, targets gaming lovers and offers a glasses-free 3D display.
The monitor uses Acer's SpatialLabs software to render full 3D games without the need for 3D glasses, using a special lenticular lens layer and integrated eye-tracking cameras that work even when you unconsciously tilt and move your head during gameplay.
The 4K display creates distinct images for each eye, resulting in a 2K resolution per eye in 3D mode with refresh rates up to 160Hz.
Samsung, too, presented an interesting option at CES. Its 37-inch 2D/3D Gaming Monitor that, as its name suggests, can be used in either two or three dimensions, depending on the users' needs. The monitor was honored at CES with the Best of Innovation award in the Gaming and eSports category -- particularly highlighting its versatility to help users with everything from gaming to productivity.
The monitor counts a high-resolution 2D experience, however, when it's time to game, the monitor can display 3D images in 4K quality to take immersion to the next level. The monitor itself can control the intensity and direction in which graphics are displayed, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) vision recognition technology and other advances that promise to bring the VR experience to a flat screen.
Speed reaches OLED screens
It seems that display manufacturers are now in the throes of a fierce "megahertz" fight. While liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) have reached refresh rates of around 500 Hz, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels are the next evolution between visual quality and speed.
Many manufacturers are working hard to raise the refresh rates on their OLED-to-show monitors.
Samsung, Dell, and MSI introduced 27-inch monitors with 1440p resolutions at 360 Hz. Asus beat out all three with a 27-inch monitor at 480 Hz. Similarly, LG and Asus introduced 32-inch "Dual-Hz" monitors, with an impressive setup of 4K-240Hz -- which can be increased to 480 Hz but only at a lower resolution.
Smaller players making a splash in gaming displays
It wasn't just the traditional tech giants showing off their powerful displays. Smaller companies, seemingly born to make gaming more immersive, are also flexing their muscles at CES.
You may not know Brelyon now, but they certainly caught the eyes of gamers. The Silicon Valley-based deeptech startup creates desktop displays for gamers, including its massive Brelyon Ultra Reality. The monitor is described as the first desktop monitor to offer image depth, allowing it to achieve a massive field of view and screen size, which translates into a more immersive gaming experience.
Its technology also promises to relax eye muscles for less eye strain. This is thanks to hours of simulations that allowed engineers to optimize the 3D profile of the depth plane to create the best balance between immersion and comfort.
Many of the most ubiquitous technologies used by large companies for their gaming divisions today at some point began as startups. In Brelyon's case, they've received several venture funding rounds from VCs including One Way Ventures, which backs immigrant founders in the US.
As the video game industry evolves, both startups and large tech firms play a hand in moving us closer to a more immersive gaming experience.