The best OLED TVs in 2021 for vibrant, high-end picture quality

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • OLED TVs offer key benefits over LCDs, making them ideal for buyers who want high-end image quality.
  • The LG CX presents the best balance between picture and price of any OLED we’ve tested.
  • For more TV recommendations, check out our roundup of the best TV deals.

OLED TVs have become popular among home theater enthusiasts, and it’s easy to see why. Thanks to some key perks, OLED displays offer several benefits over traditional LCD TVs (including those branded as LED and QLED). Though they tend to be pricier, there’s no substitute for an OLED if you want the best home theater experience for movies, streaming, and gaming.

OLED stands for “organic light-emitting diode.” Instead of using a traditional LED backlight like those found on an LCD TV, OLED screens are self-illuminating. This means that each pixel on an OLED can emit its own light or turn off completely, enabling an infinite contrast ratio.

As a result, OLED TVs are capable of true black levels – something even the best LCDs have a hard time producing. Viewing angles are also much better than typical LCD displays, making OLEDs a great fit for rooms where people need to sit off to the side of their TV. On the downside, OLEDs can’t get as bright as flagship LCD TVs, which makes OLED displays less ideal for living rooms that let in a lot of sunlight.

LG, Sony, and Vizio all sell OLED TVs in the US. While image quality does vary a bit between the displays, the TVs’ physical design, connectivity, and software are actually the most telling differences. With that in mind, we’ve tested and researched several OLED displays in order to select the best models for a variety of needs and budgets.

Here are the best OLED TVs you can buy:

  • Best OLED TV overall: LG CX
  • Best OLED TV for picture quality: Sony A8H
  • Best premium design OLED TV: LG GX
  • Best budget OLED TV: Vizio H1
The best OLED TV overall

LG 2020 OLED CX 4K TV

The LG CX OLED presents the best balance between picture performance, smart connectivity, design, and value of any OLED TV you can buy. 

Pros: Solid brightness for an OLED, HDMI 2.1 with next-gen gaming features, voice remote, lots of screen sizes

Cons: Processing and image accuracy aren’t as good as Sony OLEDs, HBO Max app missing

When it comes to balancing image quality and smart features, the CX remains the best OLED TV you can buy. Though LG recently released a 2021 successor to the CX, called the C1, we think the CX presents a better value since it costs less and offers very similar performance. 

Like all OLED TVs, the CX provides pixel-level contrast with deep black levels and precise highlights. Peak brightness is also high for an OLED panel, edging out similarly priced models from Sony and Vizio with a max of around 700 to 800 nits. 

Thanks to the α9 Gen 3 Intelligent Processor, the CX is capable of advanced upscaling. This feature can make lower-quality video content, like Full HD (1080p), look cleaner and sharper. That said, Sony’s OLED offerings are still known for slightly better processing.

The panel offers very low input lag and includes compatibility with Variable Refresh Rate, Nvidia G-Sync, and 120Hz high frame rate. These features help make the CX one of the best gaming displays you can buy, and we think the 48-inch model is a great alternative to a traditional monitor.

The CX is powered by LG’s webOS and ThinQ platforms, enabling extensive streaming app support and voice control. The magic remote also features a unique pointer function which allows you to navigate through menus with a virtual cursor.

The best OLED TV for picture quality

Sony A8H series

Sony’s A8H is a premium TV champ when it comes to image accuracy, but it lacks HDMI 2.1 for future-proof connectivity.

Pros: Advanced processing powered by Sony’s X1 Ultimate processor, superior image accuracy, Android TV with Google Assistant, acoustic surface audio technology

Cons: Can’t get as bright as LG’s CX, no HDMI 2.1 ports

The A8H has an edge on other OLED models thanks to Sony’s advanced X1 Ultimate Processor. Don’t get me wrong, LG’s processors are no slouch, but Sony’s solution offers a slightly better image. The A8H delivers the same inky black level performance that LG’s OLED TVs provide, and it takes things one step further with improved color accuracy. That said, the A8H can’t get quite as bright as the CX.

Based on side-by-side demos of Sony and LG OLEDs I’ve attended over the last few years, Sony’s models consistently come the closest to matching the look of professional broadcast monitors. This means that, when calibrated, the A8H allows movies to appear closer to how directors intend for them to look.

Unlike traditional TVs, the A8H also features a unique audio system with acoustic surface technology. Instead of typical speakers, this process creates sound from the screen itself. 

The A8H runs the Android TV platform for simple and responsive access to apps. AirPlay 2, HomeKit, and integrated Google Assistant voice control are all featured as well. Unlike LG’s OLED models, Amazon Alexa isn’t built-in, but you can still pair the TV with a separate Alexa device if you’d like to use Amazon’s assistant. 

On the downside, the A8H lacks HDMI 2.1 so it doesn’t offer next-gen gaming capabilities. Sony’s new 2021 A80J OLED does offer HDMI 2.1, however, so it’s a better choice for buyers willing to a pay a couple hundred bucks more for that feature. 

The best premium design OLED TV

LG GX Gallery Series 4K OLED TV

With a display so thin it can hang flush on your wall like a piece of art, the LG GX is one of the prettiest OLED TVs to look at — whether it’s turned on or off.

Pros: Same great image performance as the LG CX, thin design lets you mount it flush to a wall

Cons: Expensive compared to OLED models with standard designs

Beyond impressive picture performance, the GX boasts an exceptionally thin profile, enabling the display to be mounted like a piece of art hanging flush on your wall. At just 0.79 inches deep, the 65-inch GX Gallery TV isn’t quite as razor-thin as LG’s more expensive WX OLED, but it still offers an incredibly narrow design.

And unlike the WX model, LG has been able to keep all of the TV’s components within the panel. This means that GX TVs don’t need to use an external box or soundbar unit as a connection hub. Instead, you can simply hook up all your devices directly to the display. 

When it comes to actual image quality, the GX OLED TV offers very similar performance to the rest of the displays on our list. Since those TVs are among the best you can buy, that’s not a bad thing at all.

At the end of the day, you’re paying extra purely for style perks with this model, but if you plan to mount your TV on a wall, the GX can double as a genuine design piece for your living room.

That said, LG has a new 2021 version of the GX available, called the G1. The updated model has a new “OLED evo” panel which promises improved brightness. It’s more expensive than the 2020 model, however, so we still recommend the GX for most buyers. 

The best budget OLED TV

Vizio OLED lifestyle

Vizio’s 65-inch 4K OLED TV offers all the OLED picture quality benefits that home theater fans love for less than the competition.

Pros: Unbeatable image performance for the price, only OLED model in the US with HDR10+, HDMI 2.1 ports

Cons: Glitches, HDMI signal problems, on-screen app selection is limited, no voice remote

In the US, OLED TV models have primarily been limited to high-end offerings from LG and Sony. Though these TVs have been undeniably gorgeous, they’ve also been expensive. Thanks to Vizio’s OLED, however, that high cost barrier is starting to disappear.

Just like Sony and LG’s OLEDs, Vizio’s model offers pixel-level contrast with true black levels. The display can’t get quite as bright as LG’s OLEDs, but it can get close with a max of around 700 nits. 

Vizio’s OLED has comprehensive HDR support and it’s the only model on our list with HDR10+ playback. It also supports HDMI 2.1, which is something Sony’s 2020 models lack. On the downside, the TV is missing a voice remote. You can still pair it with a separate Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa device, however.

Though image quality is nearly identical to more expensive OLEDs, the Vizio does lose some points when it comes to general stability. I encountered glitches and compatibility issues when reviewing the TV. Thankfully, most of these problems have been fixed through firmware updates, but it’s a shame the display’s software isn’t more reliable. 

Still, there’s no denying the incredible value this OLED offers. When it’s on sale it delivers unbeatable picture quality for the price. In fact, if it wasn’t for those glitches, Vizio’s OLED might even edge out the CX for the top spot on this list. As it stands, it’s not quite there, but it’s a fantastic option for budget-conscious buyers.

Should you worry about burn-in on an OLED TV?

Vizio OLED design

Like plasma TVs of yesteryear, OLED panels are susceptible to a problem known as burn-in. This means that if a static image is left on the screen for hours on end — the CNN or ESPN logo in the corner, for example — a faint, ghostly image can be left permanently stuck on the TV.

Though OLED owners should be aware of this risk, OLED TVs feature special measures to help prevent burn-in, including pixel-refreshers and pixel-shift modes. Websites like Rtings have conducted long-term tests with OLEDs, and while their results do prove that burn-in is possible, their tests show that buyers with regular viewing habits really shouldn’t worry about it. 

You’re more likely to notice temporary image retention, which is when a ghost image faintly lingers on the screen and then fades away over time. Though true burn-in is really only a risk in extreme situations, it is worth pointing out that LCD TV owners don’t have to worry about burn-in at all.

If you really only plan on watching content with the same static logos all day long, you’re better off with an LCD (also branded as LED or QLED). Buyers with regular viewing habits, however, shouldn’t be put off from buying an OLED TV because of burn-in.

What we look forward to testing

LG G1 4K OLED evo on stand

Since our last round of testing, several new OLED TVs have been released. LG and Sony, in particular, have new flagship models that promise improved brightness over previous OLED displays.

Here’s a rundown of 2021 OLED models we look forward to testing over the coming months for consideration on this guide.

LG G1 OLED 4K TV: The G1 is the successor to last year’s GX OLED. It features a similar ultra-thin design and improves upon the GX with a brand-new “OLED evo” panel. The updated screen promises improved brightness which could justify its higher price. We got a first look at the G1 back in January and were impressed with what we saw. 

Sony A80J OLED 4K TV: This display is designed to replace the A8H OLED and it carries over a lot of what we loved about that 2020 model while adding a few key improvements. Most notably, the A80J includes HDMI 2.1 ports for next-gen gaming features, along with upgraded processing and the new Google TV OS for streaming apps.

Sony A90J OLED 4K TV: Like the LG G1, Sony’s new flagship A90J promises higher brightness than any OLED the company has released before. It also boasts HDMI 2.1, Google TV, and new cognitive image processing. Though it’s the most expensive OLED released in 2021, the A90J’s impressive specifications could make it the new high-end TV to beat. 

 

Check out our other TV buying guides

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Apple and Epic Games are revealing a ton of industry secrets in court filings – from untold billions in ‘Fortnite’ profits to private email exchanges, these are the 5 juiciest bits

Tim Cook Tim Sweeney 2x1
Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, right.

  • “Fortnite” maker Epic Games is suing Apple, and the bench trial started this week in California.
  • Epic says Apple’s App Store is a monopoly. Apple says Epic broke its developer contract.
  • Through court filings, major secrets from Apple, Epic, Microsoft, and more have been revealed.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Apple and the maker of “Fortnite” are currently at war in a California courtroom – the culmination of a yearlong spat between the two American business giants.

Epic Games filed suit against Apple last summer after its hit game, “Fortnite,” was pulled from Apple’s App Store.

Apple says it pulled the game because Epic violated the terms of its developer agreement when Epic implemented a payment system in the game that enabled players to circumvent Apple’s App Store. Epic says the App Store is a monopoly, and argues that iPhones and iPads are no different from computers.

The in-person trial began Monday at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland, California. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is scheduled to oversee approximately three weeks of hearings before a verdict is rendered, according to court filings.

After just one week, we’ve already learned a lot: Between major financial disclosures, company secrets, and private emails between executives made public, evidence in the trial is a treasure trove of information.

1. Xbox console sales aren’t profitable, according to Microsoft, and they never have been.

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series X, left, and the Xbox Series S, right.

After nearly two decades of sales, Xbox consoles have never been a profitable product for Microsoft.

The Washington-based tech giant sells every Xbox at a loss, according to sworn testimony from Microsoft’s VP of Xbox business development Lori Wright.

“Has Microsoft ever earned a profit on the sale of an Xbox console?” she was asked on Wednesday, May 5. “No,” she said.

Wright appeared as a witness in the ongoing trial, where she answered a variety of questions about Microsoft, Xbox, and digital storefronts. Microsoft has openly supported Epic’s suit against Apple.

The subject of Xbox profitability came up in questioning because of how Microsoft’s console business works: Instead of making money on the console itself, the company makes money from games sales through its digital storefront, from subscription services like Xbox Game Pass, and from sales of accessories like gamepads.

Microsoft, like other console makers, takes a cut of every sale on its digital storefront. That cut is usually about 30%, which has become a standard in the video game distribution market. Apple takes a similar cut from games sold on its iOS App Store, which is part of what Epic is contesting in its court case against Apple.

2. Apple’s reportedly making huge margins on the App Store.

Tim Cook WWDC 2020
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

One of Epic’s expert witnesses, Berkeley Research Group managing director Ned Barnes, said that Apple is enjoying enormous margins on the App Store: In the high 70s for the last two years at least, according to Barnes.

“In my expert report dated February 16, 2021,” Barnes writes, “using Apple testimony and financial information available to me at that time, I calculated the App Store’s operating margin percentage to be 79.6% for each of FY2019 and FY2018.”

He also said that Apple “produced additional documents” for the trial that demonstrate slightly lower percentages for the two years, but that the numbers are “consistent with and confirm the reasonableness of the calculations presented in my expert report.”

Apple, however, disputes Barnes’ report. “Epic’s experts calculations of the operating margins for the App Store are simply wrong,” an Apple representative told The Verge.

Core to Epic’s argument in the trial is that Apple operates a monopoly with the App Store by refusing to allow competing app stores on the iOS platform, in addition to not allowing third-party payment systems. High profit margins from the App Store, Epic argued, is part of the reason for Apple won’t allow either.

3. “Fortnite” is making Epic billions of dollars every year, especially on the PlayStation 4.

Fortnite (loot chest)

In one of the less surprising secrets unearthed from evidence presented during the trial, “Fortnite” is making a huge amount of money – to the tune of several billion dollars every year for the last several years.

In 2020 alone, Epic made over $5 billion in revenue according to sworn testimony from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. Between 2018 and 2019, “Fortnite” brought in over $9 billion.

Epic makes more than “Fortnite” – the gaming giant produces the Unreal Engine, operates the Epic Games Store, and owns and publishes several other big games (“Rocket League” and “Fall Guys”). Data from Epic presented during the trial shows that those projects, while moneymakers in the hundreds of millions, don’t generate anywhere near as much revenue as “Fortnite.”

4. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney sent Apple CEO Tim Cook a 2 a.m. email declaring war.

tim sweeney epic games fortnite
Epic Games cofounder and CEO Tim Sweeney.

At 2 a.m. PT on August 13, 2020, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook and several other Apple executives that laid out Epic’s plan to cut Apple out of payments in “Fortnite” on iPhone and iPad.

It was intended as a declaration of war.

“I’m writing to tell you that Epic will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions,” Sweeney wrote. “Today, Epic is launching Epic direct payments in ‘Fortnite’ on iOS, offering customers the choice of paying in-app through Epic direct payments or through Apple payments, and passing on the savings of Epic direct payments to customers in the form of lower prices.”

In response, Apple pulled “Fortnite” from its iPhone and iPad store, and the game has been unplayable on both ever since. Epic sued Apple on the same day, and this email was one of many private messages between the companies that was uncovered as evidence.

5. “Fortnite” was such a big deal on the PlayStation 4 that Epic was able to force Sony to overturn a longstanding precedent in gaming.

Fortnite

In September 2018, after months spent fighting a losing battle in the court of public opinion, Sony gave in: “Fortnite,” the company announced, would be playable on the PlayStation 4 with friends on other platforms.

“Fortnite” was the first-ever game to allow players on all platforms to play together. “This represents a major policy change for Sony Interactive Entertainment,” Sony said in its announcement. It was clear at the time that, with the game playable across all other platforms, Sony was almost certain to give in: Tens of millions of people were playing “Fortnite,” and they were earning the most from players on Sony’s PlayStation 4, according to documents from Epic presented as evidence in the trial.

Between January 2019 and July 2020, just before “Fortnite” was removed from the App Store, Epic was earning just shy of $150 million each month on average from PlayStation players, according to Epic. By comparison, the company was earning about $23 million per month on average from iOS players, Epic said.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Sony says PlayStation 5 stock shortages won’t be ending soon – here are the latest details on where to buy the next-gen console

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PlayStation 5 PS5 Product Line

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyPlayStation 5 (small, Preferred: Best Buy)Playstation 5 (All-Digital) (small, Preferred: Best Buy)

Sony’s PlayStation 5 launched worldwide in November 2020, but it’s still one of the hardest items to buy in stores or online, whether you’re looking for the $500 standard edition or the $400 all-digital edition. The PS5 is the fastest-selling console in US history according to data from the NPD Group, and Sony has sold more than 7.8 million PlayStation 5s worldwide as of March 31.

However, a global chip shortage has led to limited production capacity for the PS5 and other high-end electronics, and Sony has told fans to expect supply to remain low during the coming months. The high demand for PS5 also makes it a target for resellers, many of whom use automated tools to purchase the consoles online as soon as they’re available.

We’ve seen weekly restocks of the PS5 at retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop, and Sony’s own PlayStation Direct store. Nearly all PlayStation 5 sales are handled online due to the COVID-19 pandemic and overall demand, but some GameStop locations have made consoles available for in-store purchase.

Walmart usually announces PS5 restocks a few hours before consoles are available online. GameStop sends emails to subscribers ahead of PS5 restocks but typically only makes the PS5 available in bundles. Amazon and Newegg have also made PS5 consoles available, though on a less consistent basis. Newegg uses a raffle system to give shoppers a chance to buy rare items like the PS5.

We’ll keep this post updated as we get more information about PS5 restocks, but ultimately you’ll need to keep checking multiple stores and get a bit lucky with timing to secure the console.

Where to buy a PS5: stores and price

PlayStation 5 price
The digital edition of the PlayStation 5 doesn’t have a disc drive.

Several stores, including Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Newegg, have regularly restocked PlayStation 5 consoles since launch, but they typically sell out as soon as they’re available online. Some GameStops have had consoles for sale in-store, but availability depends on when they’re shipped.

The PlayStation 5 comes in two different models — one that has a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drive and a “digital edition” with no disc drive at all. The standard model is priced at $500, and the digital edition is priced at $400.

At popular sites for resellers, like eBay and StockX, you can expect to pay between $700 or $800 for the PlayStation 5.

You can check the links below to see if the PS5 is currently available at each retailer; we’ll update this post if a specific store announces a restock.

PlayStation 5 (Standard Edition) 

PlayStation 5 (Digital Edition)

Tips for buying the PS5

Setting up PS5 console
A gamer sets up the new Sony Playstation PS5 at his home in Seoul after Sony launched the new console.

Buying the PlayStation 5 has been a struggle since release, but retailers have been making a steady stream of consoles available. If you have a preferred store, you should look into setting stock alerts with their online tools.

Third-party stock-tracking websites like HotStock.io can tell you when a store last had the PlayStation 5 in stock and let you set alerts for multiple retailers. A reseller who made more than $40,000 reselling PS5 consoles last year shared more specific tips on how to find the console online.

If you encounter issues while trying to check out with an online retailer, keep trying to refresh the product page to add the console and make sure the PS5 is available and in your cart. If possible, create an account with your preferred retailer and enter your payment and shipping information in advance to help the checkout process move quickly.

PlayStation 5 specifications

PlayStation 5 Digital Edition PS5 DE Render

The PlayStation 5 boasts much more powerful hardware than the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro. Upgrades include a solid state hard drive and a graphics card capable of ray-tracing technology.

For detailed impressions, check out our full PlayStation 5 review here.

PlayStation 5 accessories

PlayStation 5

The new PlayStation 5 family of peripherals haven’t been nearly as hard to find as the console itself, though they’re not of much use without the main course. That said, they do complement the features of the PlayStation 5, so we’ve taken to the time to explain what they all do.

Sony’s $70 DualSense controller is a worthy successor to the PS4’s popular DualShock, implementing a built-in microphone, haptic feedback for adjustable trigger tension, and advanced rumble features while also improving the battery life and adopting a USB-C charging cable.

Wireless Controller for PS5 (small)

The $100 Pulse 3D headset is a direct successor to the gold and platinum wireless headsets Sony released for the PlayStation 4. The headset has an adjustable band, built-in microphone, and hardware buttons for mute, voice monitoring, and volume. While the Pulse 3D headset is worth the investment, PS5’s 3D audio features will also work with any third-party headset that’s been licensed for use on PS4.

Pulse 3D Wireless Headset (small)

The $30 PlayStation media remote might look appealing, but for $30 you can find a better or cheaper universal remote to control the console. Several smart TV brands also let you control the PS5 with your standard TV remote too, so it’s worth giving that a try before making this investment.

PlayStation 5 Media Remote (small)

The $30 DualSense charging stand can charge two controllers and makes for a nice stand alongside the PS5, but it doesn’t actually charge your controllers any faster than using a regular cable.

PlayStation 5 DualSense Charging Station (small)

The $60 HD camera can be used for streaming in full 1080p and even has a background removal tool, but it cannot be used as a microphone like the PlayStation 4 camera. Luckily, you can just use the DualSense’s built-in mic to communicate while playing.

PlayStation 5 HD Camera (small)
PlayStation 5 exclusive games

Godfall

Sony is committed to creating a full lineup of exclusive games for the PlayStation 5, repeating the same strategy that helped make the PS4 a massive success. Because there are still so many gamers waiting to upgrade to PS5, many of the games released on the new console will also work on PlayStation 4, like “Spider-Man: Miles Morales” and “Sackboy: A Big Adventure.”

Keep in mind that new games like “Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War” have been designed to run better on PS5, even if they’re available on the PS4. Below, we’ve listed all the games that require a PlayStation 5 to play, including unreleased titles that haven’t been announced. 

Exclusive PS5 games available now

Upcoming PS5 exclusive games

We also have a full list of upcoming PlayStation games if you want to see games that are also available for both PS5 and PS4.

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Sony is teaming up with Discord to bring the chat service to Playstation next year

PlayStation 5 console logo
  • Sony is launching a partnership between PlayStation and the videogame chat service Discord nest year.
  • As part of the partnership, Sony is investing an undisclosed amount of money into Discord.
  • Discord had turned down a $12 billion acquisition from Sony rival Microsoft in April.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sony is launching a partnership with Discord to bring the video-game chat service to PlayStation next year, the company announced on Monday.

“Our goal is to bring the Discord and PlayStation experiences closer together on console and mobile starting early next year, allowing friends, groups, and communities to hang out, have fun, and communicate more easily while playing games together,” Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and President Jim Ryan said in a press release.

As part of the partnership, Sony is also investing an undisclosed amount of money into Discord.

“From our very first conversation with co-founders Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy, I was inspired by their lifelong love for gaming and our teams’ shared passion to help bring friends and communities together in new ways,” Ryan said. “Empowering players to create communities and enjoy shared gaming experiences is at the heart of what we do, so we are beyond excited to start this journey with one of the world’s most popular communication services.”

Details on what the partnership exactly entails remain unclear, as it’s unknown if a Discord app will be coming to PlayStation consoles or if the partnership will work in another way.

Microsoft had previously been in talks to acquire Discord, but the discussions broke down last month after Discord rejected the company’s $12 billion bid, Bloomberg reported.

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How to put your PS4 in Safe Mode to troubleshoot issues, or get out of Safe Mode if you’re stuck

Playstation 4 PS4 controller
You may want to boot up your PS4 in Safe Mode if there’s a bug or glitch.

  • PS4 Safe Mode is a simple way to troubleshoot issues with your console.
  • When you put your PS4 in Safe Mode, it can also get stuck in a Safe Mode loop.
  • To get your PS4 out of Safe Mode, try restarting the console, replacing cords, rebuilding corrupted files, or updating system software.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

The PlayStation 4’s Safe Mode is a great option for troubleshooting problems you might have with your console.

Starting your PS4 in Safe Mode can help you resolve an issue or troubleshoot a bug the device may be having. The Safe Mode menu includes options to change your console’s resolution, rebuild its storage database, and restore the device to factory settings.

How to put PS4 in Safe Mode

1. Turn off your console by holding the power button for 3 seconds. After blinking a few times, your PS4 will power off.

2. Press and hold the power button, releasing your finger only after the second beep sound. This should take about 7 seconds.

3. Your PS4 will start in Safe Mode. Make sure your controller is connected to the console, and press the PS button.

How to get PS4 out of Safe Mode

If your PS4 is stuck on Safe Mode, you may be dealing with a Safe Mode loop that makes it difficult to resume playing.

In these cases, there are a few things you can try to get your PS4 out of Safe Mode. Most of these involve the Safe Mode menu, which appears when you first boot your console into Safe Mode.

Here are four troubleshooting methods you can use.

Method 1: Restart your PS4

restart
Restart will be the first option in the Safe Mode menu.

First, try restarting your PS4 using option 1 in the Safe Mode menu. Press “X” on your controller to select this option.

Method 2: Make sure there are no power issues

Why won't my PS4 turn on
Hold down the power button on your PlayStation until the light stops flashing.

If the first method fails, check to make sure all of the cables, including your USB and HDMI connections, are working properly. 

You can also try unplugging your PS4’s power cord and plugging it back in. Also, unplug the HDMI cord and switch which end is plugged into the TV and which end is plugged into the PS4.  

If one of the cables or connections is broken or failing, try replacing it.

If the cables and connections are working fine, try power cycling your PS4, as explained in our article on troubleshooting a PS4 that won’t turn on.

Method 3: Rebuild corrupted files

Image 2
Rebuilding your database can sometimes take several hours, depending on how much data you have saved on your PS4.

If the second method fails, the problem might be caused by a corrupted file. 

Select option 5 on the Safe Mode menu, “Rebuild Database,” and press “X.” This will build a new database for your PS4 without affecting any save data. It will take a while for your PS4 to rebuild — when it’s done, restart your PS4. 

Method 4: Update your PS4’s software

mehod5
There are two major ways to update your PS4’s settings through Safe Mode.

Try updating your PS4’s system software from the Safe Mode menu. 

Press “X” to select elect option 3 on the menu, “Update System Software.” Then, press “X” to select “Update Using Internet.” From there, follow the instructions on the screen.

If nothing else works, select option 7, “Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software),” and press “X.” Follow the instructions on the screen.

PlayStation 5 (small)

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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Disney will stream new ‘Spider-Man’ movies and other Sony franchises after they leave Netflix

spider man far from home sony
“Spider-Man: Far From Home”

  • Sony and Disney have struck a US licensing deal for its theatrical movies beginning next year.
  • The movies will move to Disney after their theatrical, home-entertainment, and Netflix runs are complete.
  • The Netflix window is expected to last 18 months.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Netflix isn’t the only streaming giant that Sony is striking deals with.

Sony and Disney announced on Wednesday that Disney had landed the US streaming and TV rights to new Sony theatrical releases beginning in 2022 until 2026.

The deal means that Disney will be able to stream new Sony theatrical releases on Disney Plus and Hulu, and air them on its linear networks like ABC and FX, but only after the movies complete their theatrical, home-entertainment, and Netflix runs.

The agreement also gives Disney the rights to Sony library titles that include franchises like “Spider-Man,” “Jumanji,” and “Hotel Transylvania.”

Netflix and Sony announced their own five-year licensing deal earlier this month. Netflix will stream new Sony movies beginning next year after they complete their theatrical and home-entertainment runs. Then they’ll go to Disney after the pay-one TV window with Netflix expires, which is typically after 18 months.

Sony’s 2022 theatrical slate includes “Morbius,” about a vampire who is a frequent Spider-Man villain in the comics; “Uncharted,” based on the hit video-game series; and a “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” sequel. The studio is expected to make “Jumanji” and “Bad Boys” sequels in the future, as well.

Sony owns the movie rights to Spider-Man and 900 related Marvel characters. Disney, which owns Marvel, and Sony struck a deal in 2019 for Spider-Man to star in one more Marvel Cinematic Universe solo movie and appear in another MCU film. That solo movie, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” hits theaters in December.

The “Spider-Man” movies aren’t currently streaming on Disney Plus, but this new agreement between Sony and Disney means that could change. Disney noted in its announcement on Wednesday that Hulu will have access to a “significant number” of library titles beginning as early as June.

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Take a look inside Wall Street darling Ryan Cohen’s ambitious plan to ‘transform’ the retailer into the Amazon of gaming

Ryan Cohen - Chewy
Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is now the head of RC Ventures, an investment firm that’s taken a 12% stake in GameStop.

  • Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is the largest individual GameStop shareholder.
  • He’s also in charge of the board, and intends to turn the company into the Amazon of gaming.
  • Cohen is already making major moves at the company, and he has big plans for the future.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

What does Ryan Cohen want with GameStop?

That’s the big, unanswered question at the heart of his 12.9% ownership stake in the company – an investment he made well before GameStop became a meme stock.

Cohen, who cofounded Chewy and acted as CEO before it sold to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017, does not have a background in the video game industry. His claim to fame is outfoxing Amazon at its own game – e-commerce – in a specific category: pets. That’s an especially meaningful claim to fame when it comes to Wall Street, which saw Cohen’s involvement in the company as a reason to buy the ailing retailer’s stock before Reddit found it.

Read more: Ryan Cohen made millions when Chewy got acquired. Now the millennial entrepreneur has a plan to turn around GameStop.

But Cohen is no casual investor in GameStop – he’s the chairman of its board, and an activist investor who has successfully lobbied the company to follow his advice several times thus far. He is clearly in this for the long term.

Though the lingering question of “Why GameStop?” remains unanswered, we know a lot about Cohen’s plans for the future of the company.

1. Cohen wants GameStop to become a technology company, with a focus on ecommerce over brick-and-retail stores.

gamestop store
A GameStop Corp. store on November 5, 2013 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cohen’s investment firm, RC Ventures, owns 12.9% of GameStop. That stake makes it the second-largest single shareholder of GameStop.

Those shares cost tens of millions of dollars in 2020, and they put Cohen in a position to more directly engage with the company’s leadership. But those private conversations apparently didn’t go very well.

“Given that our attempts to privately engage with you since the summer have yielded little progress, we feel compelled to send a clear message to the Board today,” Cohen wrote in an open letter aimed at GameStop’s board of directors published in November 2020.

“GameStop’s leadership should immediately conduct a strategic review of the business,” he said, “and share a credible plan for seizing the tremendous opportunities in the rapidly-growing gaming sector.”

The letter, overwhelmingly, focused on the company’s need to transition to ecommerce.

“GameStop’s challenges stem from internal intransigence and an unwillingness to rapidly embrace the digital economy,” the letter said. “GameStop needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences – not remain a video game retailer that overprioritizes its brick-and-mortar footprint and stumbles around the online ecosystem.”

Throughout his letter, Cohen directly criticizes the company’s leadership – both its executive suite and its board of directors, to whom the letter is addressed.

GameStop CEO and board member George Sherman, “appears committed to a twentieth-century focus on physical stores and walk-in sales, despite the transition to an always-on digital world,” Cohen said, and the board lacks “the type of strategic vision” necessary for GameStop, “to pivot toward becoming a technology-driven business that excels in the gaming and digital experience worlds.”

That criticism appeared to have a major impact, as GameStop announced in early January that Cohen and two of his former Chewy lieutenants would become new members of the board. Soon after, Cohen was put in charge of a committee created to reshape GameStop and appointed the chairman of its board.

2. He’s swapping the company’s current leadership, both its board and c-suite, for former Amazon and Chewy leaders.

GameStop execs (April 2021)

Since Cohen joined GameStop’s board and was put in charge of the Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee, the company’s entire executive suite has been cleared out.

That includes CEO George Sherman, who is stepping down in the near future, and CFO Jim Bell, who was suddenly forced out of his role at the company after the board of directors “lost faith” in him, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke with Insider. At the same time, a gaggle of former Amazon and Chewy leaders have been elected in their place.

Similarly, the company’s board of directors is being completely flipped – at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in June, it plans to elect a small group of Cohen’s colleagues to the board. And Cohen is expected to be elected chairman of the board.

In the last six months, Cohen has completely reshaped the leadership of GameStop.

3. The potential future of GameStop: online trade-ins.

GameStop Clerk
A customer laughs with a clerk as he purchases a copy of the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” at a GameStop store in New York

Game trade-ins, and their subsequent resale, are the lifeblood of GameStop.

In September 2020, when Cohen initially purchased a significant chunk of the company’s shares, he privately proposed a plan to the board to focus GameStop on e-commerce opportunities.

One example of those opportunities is tied to GameStop’s core business: reselling used games.

Cohen reportedly proposed an online version of the retailer’s (in)famous game trade-in program.

During those talks, he proposed a major expansion of GameStop’s online footprint, according to Bloomberg. Beyond just games, GameStop’s online store would offer “a wide range of merchandise,” the report said, and prioritize fast shipping.

Cohen has yet to publicly spell out his specific plans, and representatives repeatedly declined requests for comment.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Sony admits it made the ‘wrong decision’ and will now keep storefronts open for classic PlayStation games after fans complained

playstation 3 sony console
Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console.

Following an outcry from impassioned PlayStation fans, Sony is reversing course on a major recent announcement.

The company will continue operating the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita digital storefronts, PlayStation leader Jim Ryan announced on Monday.

“It’s clear that we made the wrong decision here,” Ryan said on the PlayStation Blog. Both storefronts will continue operating in perpetuity, which will enable users to continue buying and downloading games from both storefronts.

“We see now that many of you are incredibly passionate about being able to continue purchasing classic games on PS3 and PS Vita for the foreseeable future,” Ryan said, “so I’m glad we were able to find a solution to continue operations.”

Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita have distinct digital storefronts disconnected from the current PlayStation Store, and purchases made on those platforms don’t carry forward to more recent PlayStation consoles. If Sony were to shutter those storefronts, a variety of games would simply disappear from availability.

Read more: The processor shortage that made the PlayStation 5 and some cars harder to find was almost over – until a ship got stuck in the Suez Canal. Here’s why it’s likely to get even worse.

When Sony announced the impending closure of both storefronts in late March, it was met with criticism from fans who saw it as Sony dismissing older game libraries. More specifically, it was viewed by some as the latest example that PlayStation leadership doesn’t respect its own history.

In an oft-cited 2017 interview with Time, Ryan said, “I was at a ‘Gran Turismo’ event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”

Notably, Sony’s PlayStation 5 is able to play most PlayStation 4 games, while Microsoft’s new Xbox consoles are able to play Xbox games from throughout the history of Xbox. It’s a major point of distinction between the two competing game console makers, and one that Ryan has downplayed.

“When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” Ryan said in the Time interview.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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The PlayStation 5 is getting its first major system update this week, but one much-requested feature is still missing

PlayStation 5
Sony’s PlayStation 5.

  • Just about six months after launch, the PlayStation 5 is getting its first major update.
  • The software update adds a variety of quality of life features.
  • Unfortunately, a highly-requested feature – adding additional storage space – is still in the works.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Just over six months after the launch of the PlayStation 5, Sony is giving the console its first major software update – but it still doesn’t address the core issue PS5 users have been complaining about.

On Wednesday, April 14, the first major update is scheduled to roll out with a slew of additions and changes to the wildly popular game console.

Prime among those changes is support for USB game storage – a solution intended for users running into the PS5’s limited storage space. The PlayStation 5, like Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and X consoles, uses a new type of solid-state storage which enables much faster game loads. But games like the latest “Call of Duty” can gobble up huge portions of precious storage space, and PS5 users have been forced to decide which games to keep on their consoles.

Since PlayStation 5 games cannot be played from external storage, the addition of USB storage is intended as a temporary solution to a longer term problem. Rather than having to delete games to make space for new ones, PS5 users will be able to move a game temporarily to a USB storage device.

Sony has said that support for additional solid-state storage is in the works for the PlayStation 5, but no date has been given.

PlayStation 5 update, April 2021
Another such addition in the update is the ability to share a gameplay stream with a friend on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5.

“It is faster to reinstall PS5 games from USB extended storage than to re-download or copy them from a disc,” Sony platform planning and management senior VP Hideaki Nishino said on the PlayStation blog. “It’s a great way to extend the storage capabilities of your PS5 console, and you can seamlessly copy your PS5 games back to the console’s internal storage when you’re ready to play.”

Beyond the storage changes, a variety of smaller “quality of life” features are being added in the update: The ability to share your screen with friends over the internet, pre-downloads of game updates while the console is resting, and the ability to change which games show up in your game library are just a few.

Check out the full list of changes right here.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Netflix has landed the streaming rights to Sony’s future ‘Spider-Man’ movies and franchises like ‘Jumanji’

spider man far from home spidey and aunt may
“Spider-Man: Far From Home.”

  • Sony and Netflix struck an deal where Netflix gets first-look streaming rights to future Sony movies.
  • It includes future “Spider-Man” movies and other titles in Sony’s universe of Marvel movies.
  • Sony owns the film rights to Spider-Man and hundreds of related Marvel characters.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sony, without its own streaming platform, has found a home for its movie library.

The studio and Netflix announced on Thursday a five-year agreement that gives Netflix domestic streaming rights to Sony’s theatrical releases beginning with its 2022 lineup. The deal means that Netflix will have a first-look option for Sony titles beginning next year and the streaming giant has already committed to a number of releases. It will also license select older movies from Sony’s library.

The deal includes future Sony “Spider-Man” movies and other titles that are part of Sony’s universe of Marvel characters like “Morbius,” which hits theaters in January 2022 and stars Jared Leto as a vampire that is a frequent Spider-Man villain in the comics.

Disney, which owns Marvel, ended its streaming deal with Netflix last year after the launch of its own streamer, Disney Plus. But Sony still owns the film rights to Spider-Man and 900 related Marvel characters and the MCU “Spider-Man” movies have been absent from Disney Plus.

Sony and Disney struck a deal in 2015 in which Spider-Man could appear in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. After a brief feud in 2019 in which neither studio could agree on terms for the character’s future appearances, a deal was reached in which actor Tom Holland’s Spider-Man could star in a third MCU solo movie and appear in another future Marvel Studios film.

That third “Spider-Man” movie, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” is scheduled for theatrical release in December.

Other Sony movie franchises include “Men in Black,” “Ghostbusters,” “Bad Boys,” and “Jumanji.” Future installments in the latter two franchises are in the works. Sony’s “Uncharted,” based on the hit video-game series, is also set to hit theaters in February 2022.

Sony is the only major studio of the big five (Disney, Universal, Paramount, and Warner Bros.) without a streaming component. Its deal with Netflix puts its future movies in front of millions of users after their theatrical runs, and gives Netflix a library to compete with Hollywood studios that have been taking back their content to boost their own streaming businesses.

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