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Pachter thinks that the 4K market isn’t worth chasing

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Next month, Sony will be releasing its PlayStation 4 Pro, which will make PS4 games look much better on the requisite UHD screens. The Xbox One S, released in August this year upscales existing Xbox One games to fit those same, expensive TV’s. Next year, Microsoft has plans to release a more powerful console that they promise will natively render at that sweet resolution – doing away with things like checkerboard rendering and upscaling.

But is any of this worth it? Are enough people adopting UHD screens for this technological race to be worthwhile for both consumers and platform holders? Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter doesn’t think so. Speaking to Gamingbolt, the industry analyst says he doesn’t think 4K is worth chasing. Responding to their question on whether the PS4 PRO’s lack of native 4K rendering was an issue, he said:

“4K penetration isn’t that great. An in the US, it’s probably about 5% of households,” he said. “And 4KTVs are still a bit too expensive. I literally just bought a TV, our second room television, and I had a choice between a 55inch Samsung curved 1080p TV for $700, and the same TV in UHD for $1100. And I thought about it, and I realized, it’s not worth an additional $400.”

But why?

“There’s no programming for 4K. There’s no broadcast television. I can watch Netflix in 4K, and play games when I get my Scorpio in a year, but do I want a TV for that now? And the answer is, no, I don’t. I can afford it, and I didn’t do it. So I think it’s foolish to chase this small slice of the market. I do know that these tech enthusiasts who are into super high tech, and early adopters, are all drooling about it, and they really want 4K native resolution on their games. But I think that Sony are a mass market consumer electronic manufacturer, and they are going after the biggest slice of the market, which is 1080p.”

Sony doesn’t seem to think so, though. Speaking at Streaming Media east, Sony Vice president for consumer electronics Nick Colsey asserts that 15% of the US market will own 4K screens by year’s end.

“By the end of this year about 15 percent of US homes are going to have a 4K TV in their living room. This is growing very rapidly. Much more rapidly than the penetration of HD did. There’s tons of 4K content out there: movies, TV shows, and increasingly, sports, live sports in 4k, as well. As a consumer, now is definitely the right time to be getting into 4K and as a content owner, content producer now—actually last year was really the right time to get started with 4K.”

I’m not entirely convinced. While the prices of decent 4K screens has come down considerably (and is expected to drop even more in the near future), I don’t think the uptake on 4K is going to be all that immediate. For most consumers right now, 1080p is good enough. I do, however, think that it is a worthwhile market to capture – though that has more to do with the benefits of HDR than the extra clarity and sharpness provided by the increased resolution.

Last Updated: October 25, 2016

20 Comments

  1. Ottokie

    October 25, 2016 at 13:42

    I keep hearing the name “Pachter” a lot. Is he even a gamer? should I trust what he says? Can he 1v1 my level 110 Warlock?

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      October 25, 2016 at 13:46

      He’s probably the most notable industry analyst, which means he makes a lot of guesses & about half the time he’s right.

      Reply

      • Ottokie

        October 25, 2016 at 13:47

        So he is not even MR6 yet?

        Reply

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          October 25, 2016 at 13:48

          He’s MR22 that can’t complete a sortie.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief

            October 25, 2016 at 14:20

            LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

          • Dutch Matrix

            October 25, 2016 at 14:22

            I heard he is actually MI6 and omigosh who are these black suited guys with the shades and why are they pointing guns at me and…
            There is no MI6. And I am taking a very long, very overdue vacation. In fact, you might never hear from me again.
            Love and kisses and hugs.
            Dutch

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            October 25, 2016 at 15:12

            No bum grab? I’m disappointed!

          • Dutch Matrix

            October 25, 2016 at 15:34

            Yesterday Pariah scolded me like a dissapointed dad for always going “there” so no. No more boob jokes, bum jokes or stuff like that from me.

          • Thorsten

            October 25, 2016 at 15:55

            That’s a bummer.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            October 25, 2016 at 16:06

            Don’t listen to him, that asshole is a tit. 😉

  2. iusedtobe(a)regular

    October 25, 2016 at 14:18

    And I have been saying this for months now.

    Reply

  3. Raptor Rants

    October 25, 2016 at 15:43

    Darnit. I am torn. I find myeslf agreeing with Patcher again. Uggggh. I feel dirty.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      October 25, 2016 at 15:53

      Have a wet-wipe and some Nemo bubbles

      Reply

  4. Milesh Bhana

    October 25, 2016 at 15:54

    i think the big reason why HDTV adoption worked was that they gave us a very compelling reason to upgrade our TVs. Combination of clearer picture and the move to flat (and large) screens. Bulky and only 74cm got sent to Cash Crusaders in a heartbeat.

    So now we have large flatscreens that look great. You want me to buy another? Why?

    Reply

    • HvR

      October 26, 2016 at 08:20

      Even then mass adoption took a decade (launched in mid 90’s to mass adoption in 2007) when HD LCD screen reached the CRT sets price point,

      Reply

  5. HairyEwok

    October 25, 2016 at 15:56

    I agree. 4K just isn’t worth it, or rather, 4K isn’t for the mass market (yet). The amount of money you need to splash out to have the 4K experience is above many peoples pay grades. 4K TVs are dropping in price but isn’t there yet for the mass consumers.

    Reply

  6. Fox1 - Retro

    October 25, 2016 at 16:22

    I’ve played an Xbox One at launch on a 4K Hisense TV. The quality was superb even for an upscaled experience. With 4k you are getting more than just higher-res, you getting smoother motion, a wider colour gamut and a larger TV. I don’t foresee anyone not upgrading to 4k in the future as the prices are tumbling down.

    Reply

    • Living While Alive

      October 25, 2016 at 16:27

      You’re comment plus profile picture, priceless.

      Going to watch you make crazy ambitious inventions in you’re Laboratory now. Thanks Dexter.

      P.s Watch out for DeeDee

      Reply

    • iusedtobe(a)regular

      October 26, 2016 at 08:42

      The prices are coming down but not quickly enough, a decent 4k tv is still very expensive and its just not worth it to fork out 10 to 15k just to get better resolution and smoother motion and most people who do upgrade their TV will rather go from LCD to LED or a better quality LED smart TV, that is why Sony’s strategy is so brilliant because they realised this. The Scorpio’s power isnt going to help it much, MS needs to get games out and with the Scorpio only a year away it does not seem like it will release with any new games, at least not new ip’s anyway which spells trouble for MS and its going to get even tougher for them with the release of the Nintendo Switch that will take a big chunk out of MS market share, to a lesser extent Sony’s also.

      Reply

  7. Creaky

    October 25, 2016 at 21:53

    I don’t think there is enough 4K content to upgrade at the moment, I’ll be waiting until the Xbox Scorpio is released next year before updating anything.

    Reply

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