By Alex Jensen –
With November approaching fast, there’s naturally much excitement in the gaming world because this is traditionally the biggest month for game releases. And Christmas might feel like it has come early for gamers this year, given the impressive line-up of games scheduled to be on sale in the coming weeks.
Of course, a big aspect of gaming is what you see – and that puts a lot of emphasis on the screen you’re using. It’s vital that the displays of today can meet the demands of next-gen games that are becoming more and more lifelike. So, it’s no surprise to me that there’s growing demand from gamers for different screen sizes and form factors, including super-immersive curved panels.
The great thing about OLED displays is that they tick pretty much all of the gaming boxes. Not only do you get the rich colors and inky blacks that have been so celebrated among fans of OLED TVs, but you also leap over pain points such as a slow reaction time, or how long it takes for a screen to change what’s being displayed. Moreover, OLEDs can be impressively flexible.
In fact, Bendable OLED has been declared to be the best kind of display for gaming devices and monitors. Because OLED displays boast self-emissive pixels, they can be ultra-thin and, well, bendable. From a gaming standpoint, greater curvature creates higher levels of immersion, as I personally witnessed when I toured LG Display’s CES 2021 booth. Given that some games – think sports offerings – perform better on a flat screen, it’s also important for displays to be versatile. Some people just want the choice to switch between flat and curved, and Bendable OLED displays can bend as needed, almost like paper, as we saw in August with the demonstration of the ‘bendable’ OLED monitor we always wanted at Gamescom 2022 in Germany.
You don’t have to take just my word for it. Various gaming influencers were full of praise for Bendable OLED’s showing at Gamescom 2022, not only delighting in the “unmatched overall image quality” of OLED’s self-emissive technology, but also describing it as “super immersive and awesome” and the “next logical step in panel tech.”
Coming back to OLED’s gaming performance, consider that a designated gaming mouse or keyboard might offer a speed advantage of up to 20 milliseconds (ms). LG Display’s research unveiled at SID 2022 shows that an OLED display’s average reaction time is 50 ms faster than an LCD counterpart. And the company’s OLED panels have received Qualified Superior Gaming Performance and High Gaming Performance certifications from Intertek and TUV Rheinland.
Another more practical advantage is the relative eye comfort provided by OLED displays during long gaming sessions. This is because OLEDs emit the lowest level of blue light in the industry, and they have also been certified as flicker free as well as verified as discomfort glare free.
When it comes to size, a strong case has already been made for turning a smaller OLED TV into a huge 4K gaming monitor. It seems this has been a popular option, helping shipments of LG OLED TVs in the 40-inch range to jump 81.3% in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2021, according to market research firm Omdia’s data released on August 23 – even as overall global TV shipments have been on a downward trend.
So, there’s a bright future for OLED and gaming. As LG Display’s OLED panel sizes now vary so widely, from 42 to 97 inches, more and more gamers will find their goldilocks size. For the gaming display industry generally, there is also much cause for optimism – with the global population of gamers reaching 3 billion, the number of gaming monitors shipped around the world is expected to jump from 14.2 million units in 2020 to 26.4 million in 2025, according to an International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast. The question isn’t whether gaming hardware such as displays will enjoy success in the coming years, but how far they can advance to meet demand for variation in size and flexibility.