What makes a modern TV, a “gaming TV” anyway? At first, it was — let us be honest — just a marketing thing: there were no TVs specifically designed to be used for games per se, it was rather that some TVs when better at displaying games than others. It proved to be a selling point of note, though, so for the last two or three years manufacturers do promote specific models optimized for gaming use in the living room — conversely, some TVs now walk in the opposite direction, asking to be used for games in bedrooms or home offices instead of monitors. Why not?
Sony was not among those manufacturers, even if some of its TVs were capable of handling games well — just not in the best way possible. The PlayStation5 changed all that. During Q3 and Q4 of 2020, the Japanese giant ran a co-promotion between Sony Electronics and Sony Interactive Entertainment, highlighting its claim that two specific Bravia TV models are “the perfect match” for a PS5 because of specific features they offer.
The most affordable of the two is by far the Sony XH90 (X900H in the US) and I got to live with the 85-inch version for about three months. Should gamers — PS5 owners or otherwise — go for this TV at some point or not? Is there information they should be aware of before doing so? What would this journalist be doing if he were in the shoes of a consumer considering this TV? Let’s break this all down.
Generic design, every important feature present
It is true that, at first glance, the XH90 seems rather pedestrian design-wise. It’s not unattractive or anything, it’s just that everything about it is understated. There’s not a single element that stands out and people who are looking for a striking TV set might not be too impressed by it. A few weeks into using it, though, one realizes that is a conscious choice on Sony’s part: the TV frame draws zero attention to itself, never distracting the viewer’s attention from the screen. The bezels around it are not impossibly thin like e.g. on an OLED TV, but they are thin enough so as not to be off-putting. All in all a modern…