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What Makes a Projector Great for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S

Gaming projectors have evolved so much over the last few years, they’re now equal to TVs in terms of input latency, resolution, HDR, and smart features. However, projectors are by far superior in several key areas that are very pertinent for gaming. First off, screen size. There’s no way you’ll be able to pair your PS5 or Xbox Series console with a 120” flat screen TV without taking out a loan at the World Bank, that’s assuming you can find a TV in that size class. Projectors easily showcase your games on an image format that big or even larger while costing considerably less than the biggest TVs, which usually top out at 85” or so. Cost per inch, projectors beat TVs without even breaking a sweat.

Projectors are also easily quite bright, with a good gaming projector delivering 3000 lumens, which is around 800 nits. Not many TVs are able to consistently provide that kind of brightness, and it’s more than sufficient for good HDR.  

a boy and a girl playing shooting game on PS5/XBOX with a gaming projector

Why Gaming on a Projector is Awesome

The impact of enjoying games on a screen that’s more than twice the size of the average gaming TV can’t be understated. All things being equal, games feel and play much more impressive on a larger screen. And since gaming projectors have reached parity with gaming-minded TVs in most areas, things are indeed equal. However, not every projector that labels itself “gaming” deserves your attention. Proper gaming projectors have very specific features and capabilities that you need to remain mindful of. Let’s quickly look at those. 

Total Input Lag

For most people, the total lag between pressing a button on a PS5 or Xbox Series controller and having the game respond to that on-screen should be less than 40ms. Thankfully, most good gaming TVs and projectors now have input lag of less than 20ms. And the really good ones go lower than that. The BenQ X3000i and TK700STi manage native 4K 60Hz with 16ms, and even offer 1080p 120Hz with 8ms and 240Hz with 4ms of total input latency. That’s not even noticeable and nearly worthy of e-sports class gaming. Without low input lag, games may feel sluggish and unresponsive to the point of being unplayable.

Also, with down to 4ms fast response times, ghosting is not an issue at all. Ghosting refers to the smearing effect you get with moving visuals on a display device that’s too slow to update the screen in keeping up with input from the game. This hasn’t been an issue for TVs for a while for the most part, and now it’s not an issue with good gaming projectors, either.

BenQ gaming projectors have proven their merit in providing for responsive gaming experiences, and so there’s little wonder they keep making the “best of” lists

 

 

Resolution and Refresh Rate

While PS5 and Xbox Series X launched with the promise of 4K 60Hz gaming, and indeed they target this spec and often achieve it, reality is that it’s not always the case. Many games run in upscaled 4K 60Hz (or 1440p/1800p then upscaled to 2160p), and others target 4K 30Hz. If you have the budget for a 4K projector, then by all means go for it, but do know that PS5 on a full HD 1080p projector provides a great combination of value and enjoyment.

It also depends on what kind of gaming you want to do. If you prefer open world, detail rich AAA titles with a focus on story and various environments, then the 8.3 million pixels shown on a big 120” screen by 4K gaming projectors are definitely a sight to behold. But if you’re looking for first person or third person shooter action, racing games, and fighting titles, the highest possible refresh rate is a priority to consider. The best 4K gaming monitors on the market now offer low input lag 16ms performance in 4K 60Hz, but if you want to go higher refresh than that, the resolution drops to 1080p. With a full HD 1080p projector you can have even lower input lag of just 8ms while reaching 120Hz on the same screen size. Many 4K gaming projectors also support 120Hz and 240Hz, but not in 2160p. If you select those refresh rates, the image output is 1080p anyway.

The conclusion here is the PS5 and Xbox Series X are fine on a 1080p gaming projector. Realistically, for projector-sized screens, you’re going to sit further away from the screen than you would with a TV. That means the detail offered by 4K begins to diminish, and 1080p may be enough for lots of people. Distance from screen means resolution matters less, and another point to consider is how much space you have. Big screens need big rooms and are good for 4K, but if you want a smaller screen (under 100”), then perhaps 1080p is better.

When considering the best combination of resolution and refresh rate, do remember that the few games that support 120Hz on PS5 and Xbox Series X don’t do it in 4K, but usually upscale from 1080p. So again, if your emphasis is on shooters and other fast-paced action games, we recommend going with a higher refresh rate, lower input lag projector that’ll give you 1080p 120Hz with just 8ms total input lag. This is an excellent value and a good entry point to big screen current gen console gaming. 

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Smarts if Possible

Since the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles depend on internet connectivity, we strongly recommend you get a gaming projector that’s up with the times. The X3000i and TK700STi from BenQ have that little “i” in their names because they’re internet-ready, with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No dongles or adapters needed, just hook up and log in. Make this a priority when shopping for a projector, as it’ll prove very useful later on for everything from updates to content streaming. 

Summing Up

Yes, there’s a gaming projector out there that’s eager to give you the big screen experience you’re after. You just need to be aware of the vital specs and features we listed, as you don’t want something laggy or with low refresh rate. There’s a lot of projectors that are great for movies and TV but may not be so ideal for the specific needs of gaming, hence this article. Good luck and happy trails! 

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