Back in the 80s and 90s, videogames were awesome. Despite the limited processing power, developers found a way to make the graphics interesting. Pixel art was a thing back then, there's just no other way to beautify the game so unless you dig text-based games, graphics was a big deal back then.
Then came the 3D era, or let's say 2.5 D came in first. Everyone was so glad we broke free from 2-dimensional games. When 3D came to full bloom, I recall some games which started full 3D on the PC then consoles started adapting. Doom was among the first ones I encountered, and it was pure mayhem, both in 3D graphics and gore. It is important to note that 3D was running in SD during this time.
Fast forward to today, we are currently ending the HD era. Jumping from SD, or Standard Definition, the pictures became clearer. Personally I got alienated from SD when I started watching stuff on HD. The reason, I wrote some flashback is that 4k/HDR is going to be implemented on current and upcoming consoles. And it is inevitable that we have to adapt to them.
According to a post by We Write Things, Phil Spencer tackles about the challenges behind implementing 4K and HDR into their upcoming and present gaming consoles. He emphasizes that there really is a difference but it's hard for the naked eye to see, not like from SD to HD, or from 2D to 3D that we truly appreciate the change. Based on his statements, it seems that our technology is so advanced that our naked eye cannot comprehend anymore with the latest advancements.
"When I see 4K games, they look demonstrably better, but it's not the same difference that we saw from SD to HD, or from 2D to 3D when gaming went that direction. HDR is the same way: I love the way movies and games look in HDR, but I don't think it's that same transformative thing that we saw with [earlier leaps]," Spencer said.
Is it worth it to bother upgrading to 4K and HDR gaming?
If money is not an issue for you then by all means, get the latest technology, it's nice to experience it ahead. Also, the difference between HD and 4K/HDR may not be as great as SD to HD, however, there is still something noticeable about the resolution. It is inevitable that we will be converting to 4K gaming within the next 3 years or earlier as game production has started to embrace it. Sooner or later, HD will be dropped from production to focus more on 4K/HDR, much like SD being obsolete today.
However, it is important to note that these newer resolutions will require compatible screens, meaning you have to upgrade your TV or Monitor too to be able to activate the 4K/HDR capabilities of your planned gaming system. Any day now, the PS4 Pro will be rolling out and is already 4K/HDR capable. Following most probably next year will be Project Scorpio, so better stack up on those cash because you will need to upgrade your display system to 4K as well.