In summer 2021, the answer to that is a resounding YES. With the arrival of new gaming consoles and graphics cards for PC, 120Hz has finally become a relatively common refresh rate. Many 4K TVs feature 120Hz panels and support for this refresh rate through HDMI 2.1, which Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 feature, as do the latest NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards. TVs have also improved their response with lower input lag.
But so have gaming projectors. Native 4K 60Hz at just 16ms is a reality with the kind of gaming projector you’d like in your setup, and full HD 1080p at 120Hz with just 8ms is also a firm reality. The old perceptions of gaming and projectors being mutually exclusive don’t apply anymore. Times and technology have changed.
Also referred to as HRR, high refresh rates generally mean 120Hz and over. As you probably know, gaming monitors now routinely do 144Hz and even 240Hz, albeit in lower resolutions and with toned down graphics settings. On PC, 60Hz has been the minimum “acceptable” framerate for a long time, and now consoles have also caught up. In short, 60 frames per second regardless of resolution is considered the baseline for enjoyable gaming.
Without getting into lengthy explanations, framerate helps determine gaming enjoyment because video games by their nature need to be responsive and feel smooth when you interact with them. Lower frame rates cause everything to seem sluggish and unresponsive, and once you experience 60Hz or more, going back to the old 30Hz standard that dominated consoles between 2005 and 2020 is very jarring.
Current generation consoles have so much power available that even the least motivated developers can easily pull off 60Hz, and that benefits every game genre. First person shooters and racers focus on response and reflexes more than story-driven exploration titles or role playing games, and therefore benefit greatly from uncapped frame rates. If you enjoy FPS titles and racing games, the smoothness of 120Hz and over cannot be understated, and genuinely helps not just in enjoying the game more, but performing better if in a competitive mode.
Gaming has come to projectors big time. The BenQ X1300i embodies this new generation of game-focused light throwers with streamlined processing that ensures minimal latency. The X1300i does 1080p at 120Hz with a mere 8ms of input lag, perfect for Call of Duty or something like Rainbow Six, where resolution and graphics settings aren’t the most important things, because refresh rate is. Until recently, 120Hz on a gaming projector would have been unheard of, but now it’s very doable.
While not technically high refresh rate by most definitions, native 4K 60Hz is very impressive and now the gold standard for new generation console and PC games. Pushing out 120Hz 4K with high settings is still a challenge for most developers, but 60 frames per second appears to work great increasingly. That’s why the BenQ TK700STi is such a wonder, doing 4K 60Hz with just 16ms of input latency, which is very competitive with even the fastest TVs.
Aside from refresh rates and latency, the ace in the hole for projectors is screen size. TVs have nothing on projectors here, either in sheer specs or in cost per inch of screen. With the two BenQ projectors we mentioned you can have your gaming on a 100” screen. Have you ever considered buying a 100” TV? Likely not. With projectors that kind of size is a given. Actually if you don’t want a 100” or bigger display, projectors may honestly not be the best solution for you.
So when you really want to up your game with regards to screen size, a gaming projector is the path of choice. And just like framerate, once you go big you’ll find it hard to go back to a comparatively tiny 65” TV. That’s because the “wow factor” of a massive, high speed, crisp and detailed screen simply can’t be denied.