PlayStation 5 Was Never Going to Do 8K, and Now Sony Has Finally Acknowledged That

PlayStation 5 Was Never Going to Do 8K, and Now Sony Has Finally Acknowledged That

Sony removed the “8K” label from its fresh PlayStation 5 boxes. This could either be an admission that there really was no point to promoting 8K or that it’s saving its real 8K capabilities for the rumored PS5 Pro that could be coming later this year.

The most-recent slim-edition PS5 boxes in Gizmodo’s collection are both marked 2023. These have a large gold sticker at the top, promoting 8K and 4K at 120 Hz. If you go into a store now, you’ll probably still find them selling the old boxes from 2023, but look on either PlayStation Direct or GameStop, and you’ll note that the “8K” sticker is missing.

This is not a new console. It’s still listed as the CFI-2015 model number. While Sony revised the original PS5 several times since 2020 to reduce weight and revise its heat sinks, the current PS5 slim model is the only one on store shelves. The only thing that has seemingly changed is the packaging. Redditors on the r/gamingnews subreddit and Digital Foundry’s John Linneman first spotted the change, but surprisingly, no one else has noticed the packaging changes for so long. That points to how pointless the “8K” claim has been since Sony first released its console.


Gizmodo contacted Sony Interactive for comment, but we have not heard back.

The older boxes list right on the packaging that 8K, 4K, 120 Hz, and HDR content require a compatible display and supporting software.” The console itself should be able to handle 8K with support from HDMI 2.1, but you would need a higher-than-4K TV to support the 3840×2160 resolution. You also won’t find many games with a resolution higher than 4K. The only one that does 8K natively is the 2019 indie puzzle game The Touryst. Then there’s Monster Hunter: Rise, which can technically push up to 5K.

Then again, whether the PS5 ever truly supported 8K is still the question. The original PlayStation 5 FAQ said, “PS5 is compatible with 8K displays at launch, and after a future system software update, it will be able to output resolutions up to 8K when content is available, with supported software.” You may already guess, but that update never came. The Tourystscales down to 4K when playing on the PS5.

While a few movies claim they go up to 7,680 x 4,320, you may still struggle to see a fundamental difference between the bigger and bigger resolutions. We’ve watched some content on Samsung’s latest 8K QN900D TV, but that was mostly demo video used to promote the more expensive display. Then there’s the question of frame rates and refresh rates.

That’s why the PlayStation 5 Pro mid-life refresh could be the answer. The console has been rumored to support 8K. More than that, Sony may be working on its own blend of upscaling tech that could push current 4K games to higher resolutions. We were underwhelmed with Samsung’s 8K TVs that also promised AI upscaling, but we’ll have to wait and see if Sony can pull a much more high-resolution rabbit out of its hat.

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