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PS4 can handle 4K output, but not for games

The PlayStation 4 console is capable of ultra high-definition playback, but won't use it for games, Sony says.

Sony's PlayStation 4 console will be capable of chewing through 4K video, but won't use the super-high definition technology when it comes to gaming.

Sony's Shuhei Yoshida told IGN, "The PS4 supports 4K output, but only for photos and videos -- not games." That will pour water on hopes that Sony's new console would be the first to natively handle the ultra high-resolution format.

UHD, or 4K screens bring roughly four times as many pixels to the party as a 1080p display. That makes for an eye-watering number of individual pixels, but as you'd imagine, processing a game at that high resolution requires enormous graphical oomph.

It's dismaying that Sony's upcoming system will miss out on an interesting new technology, but take heart -- this CNET article argues (with a chart and everything) that you'd have to have an absolutely massive telly or be sat extremely close to the screen to see the benefit of 4K.

It's also worth pointing out that if Sony's system can handle 4K video, that could give it serious media-player potential in the future.

4K tellies are starting to become commercially available (though they're still very expensive), but there's not much point in buying one at the moment, because there's nothing to watch in the new, higher resolution.

For a long time, the PlayStation 3 was the best value Blu-ray player around. If Sony plays its cards right, the sequel could be the cheapest box capable of handling 4K films and TV.

Sony still hasn't revealed the PlayStation 4 console itself, teasing gamers with a new controller and the promise of streaming games online. For everything you need to know on the new console, click here.

Will you buy the PlayStation 4? Or are you waiting to see what the next Xbox looks like? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.