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What You Need to Know About the Newest Game Consoles


MC: We saw that with the Switch, right? The Nintendo Switch came out and then a year later the Nintendo Switch Lite came out.

AH: Yeah, exactly. I mean, there’s still people who were like, “Oh, I prefer the Lite.” Other people who are like, “No, I’m holding out for a full-sized Switch.” I mean, when I bought a second Switch for my household, I held out until I could find a full-sized Switch. I didn’t want a Switch Lite. But that’s just personal preference. But yeah, Nintendo got me twice.

MC: So one thing that there’s a lot of debate about right now about these consoles is there support for 8K gaming, because both claim that they’re 8K ready. I don’t think I know anybody who has an 8K television or is ready for 8K gaming. But can you talk us through that a little bit?

AH: Yeah. They both claim they have 8K support. There are no games in 8K right now. I mean, even if you had an 8K TV, yes, technically you could hook this up to that TV. I guess, if you 8K source material, it would display in 8K. But the source material doesn’t exist and the TVs are so rare. It’s one of those things that everybody’s saying, “Yeah. Well, essentially, because we support this version of display port and we know that that version of display port is on these TVs. If somebody develops a game that is 8K, we can push that much video data than it’ll work. I guess, technically.” It’s like trying to prove an unknown. I guess, it’ll work when it happens, but it hasn’t happened yet.

LG: Does that support extend to media streaming? So if you’re running Netflix on your console, which is what some people use them for, will that support 8K streaming if, I guess, all the stars align, all the 8K stars align and the content is 8K and the streaming platform supports 8K and also your console does?

AH: I don’t know for sure. I hope so. I would hope so. I hope they wouldn’t promise 8K support and not include if Netflix or Hulu or somebody said, “Hey, we have 8K videos now.” Man, what would an 8K video even look like? What would we start with? I mean, when 4K started, we started with nature documentaries and things just to show off how beautiful it was. But I mean, I guess, we’re going to have to wait and see if 8K TVs take off first before anyone-

LG: Right. Which we see CES every year. But we don’t actually see in the wild.

AH: Right. I mean, I know for a fact game developers right now are not pouring resources into making their games like beautiful 8K masterpieces because they know the audience isn’t there and it’s not worth the development resources.

LG: So I think with 8K, what’s going to happen is instead of having the vague feeling like we’re living in a Black Mirror episode, we’re actually just going to be living in it. That’s how immersive it’s going to be.

AH: It’s like looking out a window.

MC: More K than I need, and certainly more K than I want.

AH: Exactly.

MC: So I need to point out here real quickly that none of the people on this episode of Gadget Lab have tried the new console, but we do have writers at WIRED who have tried it and are writing their reviews. The reviews will appear within a week or so. They’re embargoed, which means that the company will give you a device to use as long as you promise that you won’t write about it until a specific date and time, which is very standard across consumer electronic reviews. All the big smartphones are embargoed. All the video game consoles are embargoed. Car releases are usually embargoed as well. So we’re adhering to that embargo and we don’t have anybody on the show is actually used it. That said, there’s been a lot of talk on the internet about the controllers and how the controllers are new. What can you tell us about that?

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