High-definition gaming on a large screen offers an ever more immersive gaming experience and one of the best ways to enjoy the improvements HDTV brings.
At present there are two high-definition capable games consoles from Sony and Microsoft respectively; the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The PlayStation 3 supports a wide range of video output resolutions from standard-definition right up to high-definition 1080p. Games can render and output in any of the supported resolutions, and while there is no requirement for all games to be high-definition, an ever increasing majority are, which more and more 1080p titles now available.
The PlayStation 3 hardware was built to support high-definition video and gaming via an HDMI port and additionally an analogue component video output. The PlayStation 3 also features an in-built high-definition optical drive in the form of Blu-ray, the next-generation high-defrintion/capacity DVD format.
All games produced for the Xbox 360 should be capable of at least 720p video output, with some newer titles supporting 1080p. HDTV connections on early Xboxes (pre July 2007) were more limited than current models, as only component and VGA outputs were supported. With the introduction of the Xbox 360 Elite and now the rest of the of range an HDMI port has been added for an improved connection to a high-definition screen.
The Xbox 360's hardware supports a wide range of video output resolutions from standard-definition right up to full-HD 1080p depending on the output connection used. While all games are rendered in at least 720p resolution, irrespective of this the console hardware is able to upsample any game's video to the user's chosen output resolution.
Additional high-definition content is available from the Xbox Video Marketplace, and when purchased separately, via an external HD-DVD drive.
The third, and hitherto unmentioned, current generation games console available from Nintendo is Wii which features much more modest computing and graphics hardware preferring to focus on innovation and gameplay rather than high-definition video.
All other mainstream gaming consoles including the Nintendo Wii, original Xbox, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube only support standard-definition output resolutions but these can easily be enlarged or upscaled on an HDTV.