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Xbox One will soon support 120Hz, but it’s unlikely to play nice with 4K

Last generation we were lucky if a game played at 60fps rather than 30, but now Microsoft has taken another big step forward with support for games to run at a massive 120fps. 

This means that once the May update comes around you’ll be able to put your console into 120Hz mode, and enjoy games at up to double the refresh rate they could be played at previously. A higher refresh rate makes gameplay look smoother, and makes games feel more responsive.

But if you’re using either an Xbox One S or Xbox One X, this new 120Hz mode is going to involve making some tough choices. You can have 4K gaming, or you can have 120Hz gaming — you can’t have both.

This isn’t Microsoft’s fault. The current HDMI 2.0 standard doesn’t have enough bandwidth to transmit more than 60 4K frames per second. HDMI 2.1 is expected to solve this issue, but it’s such a new standard that it’s unlikely to arrive in TVs until 2019.

4K or 120Hz, but not both (yet)

In other words, if you want to take advantage of the new functionality now, you’ll need to not only have a 120Hz-capable monitor, but you’ll have to settle for 1440p at a maximum.

Microsoft hasn’t announced which games specifically will support 120Hz gaming. Don’t expect games that are currently limited to 30fps to suddenly be playable at four times this framerate, but we’re hoping that there’ll be a couple of less graphically intensive games that will be able to cope.

Microsoft hasn’t been shy with its updates recently. In previous months we’ve seen it update its consoles to support variable refresh rates, and 1440p resolutions.

It’s almost enough to convince us to ditch the PC and start gaming on a console instead, but we’re going to wait for mouse and keyboard support on the console to become more widespread before fully committing.

Now that the Xbox One supports high refresh rates, what advantages do you think the PC still has left? Let us know @TrustedReviews.

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