Gaming on an OLED TV is about to become more affordable, just in time for next-gen GPUs

(Image credit: Vizio)

Vizio just announced its "2021 TV collection," and in addition to the usual LCD model refreshes, the company is launching its first OLED TVs. These will arrive in 65-inch and 55-inch sizes at comparatively tantalizing price points to what's currently available in the OLED space, and will land around the same time as AMD's next-generation Navi GPUs and Nvidia's Ampere offerings.

Slated for this fall, the 55-inch model will cost $1,200 and the 65-inch model will run $2,000. While not cheap in and of themselves, they're cheaper than LG's well regarded CX line—LG's 65-inch CX model has a $2,800 MSRP (on sale for $2,400) and the 55-inch model lists for $1,800 (on sale for $1,700).

One thing I've noticed with Vizio's TVs over the years is that they frequently go on sale as well. I don't have a crystal ball, but by the end of the year, it's entirely possible that its 55-inch and 65-inch models will be even cheaper than their debut prices.

According to Tech Hive, both models will hit a peak brightness in the neighborhood of 800 nits, will have a fast 120Hz refresh rate, and support HDMI 2.1. They also check the important HDR boxes, including Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG.

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For gaming, Vizio is touting its new ProGaming Engine. This essentially boils down to support for a variable refresh rate, FreeSync, and a "more intuitive Auto Game Mode that automatically optimizes your gaming experience." In other words, these TVs will enable a low latency mode when playing games, rather than tasking players with toggling it themselves (as its current TVs require).

My hope is that Vizio does for OLED TVs what it has already done for LCD TVs, which is usher in an era of more affordable pricing. The timing could not be better, either. There is a lot of hype surrounding AMD's so-called Big Navi GPU, and of course both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will arrive with a custom Navi GPU onboard.

Likewise, Nvidia is expected to launch a new generation of GeForce graphics cards based on its Ampere GPU architecture in the coming months.

The caveat with gaming on an OLED display is the inherent risk of burn-in. Static images like heads up displays (HUDs), channel logos, and other elements can become faintly and permanently ingrained. It varies by panel (CNET seems to suggest these are using LG panels) and depends on the specific content.

That aside, OLED display generally look fantastic, and if Vizio can spark a price war, all the better.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).