Panasonic had a very impressive showing at the International CES in Las Vegas, highlighted by their 4K televisions, new LEDs as well as their new 2013 lineup of plasma televisions. We talked with Panasonic’s Marcellus Perkins, who re-introduced our staff to plasmas at the show and gave some compelling reasons as to why gamers shouldn’t shun this line of product.
Sean Gibson (GI): This is Sean Gibson, CES 2013, at the Panasonic booth. I’m here with Marcellus Perkins, maybe the coolest name ever. (laughter) Anyways, we’re here at CES 2013, amazing line, LEDs and the plasmas for Panasonic. From a gamer perspective, where should our attention go, because before, I’m thinking that I’m supposed to be looking at the LEDs, maybe that’s not necessarily the case?
Marcellus Perkins (Panasonic): That’s definitely not necessarily the case. If I’m correct, speed and processing is important to gamers. I break it down to this, what’s faster, 240 Hz or 600 Hz? 600 Hz, so that’s going to be a plasma. On top of that, do you have a faster processor for games, so let’s talk about game latency. Every console has a natural latency from the console to a display. With Panasonic, we have the fastest reduction in latency from any console to a display at 16 milliseconds. So any gamer who’s gaming is definitely going to want to game on our TV, and put it Game mode to take advantage of that speed, and that’s 600 Hertz processing.
Marcellus Perkins (Panasonic): It doesn’t mean anything necessarily for the color depth, but it means exactly the response time, because once you kick it into Game mode, that’s when we actually accelerate our processor to shorten that game latency time that I was talking about. It accelerates the speed so your response time of the game is even better, so that’s why you’d want to use Game mode, not necessarily to watch movies with, but to play games on.
Sean Gibson (GI): Could you talk, then about plasmas and their reliability, plus the shelf life. There’s some stigma behind the plasmas, but it’s 2013, are they new and improved?
Marcellus Perkins (Panasonic): Yes, basically with plasma, this is the biggest misconception. The plasma has a 100,000 hour rating, and we based that off of eight hours a day. An LED has a 100,000 hour rating, we put it in our manual, it’s a 100,000 hour-rated panel. LCDs are roughly 60,000 hours. When it comes to life expectancy, you don’t have anything different with a plasma as you do with an LED.
As far as burn-in, another thing I hear about gamers is, “I don’t want to game on a plasma because there’s issues with burn-in.” That’s not true when it comes to Panasonic, because we have what’s called a pixel orbiter, and burn-in is permanent. Image retention is something that can happen over time. What we did as a failsafe is our pixel orbiter makes our little pixels dance. I like to call them little “Hammer” pixels. They’re always moving, so whenever something’s stagnant on the screen, it doesn’t get the chance to burn in because of that pixel orbiter, so that would be another advantage for a gamer.
Sean Gibson (GI): We’ve got some new consoles on the way and some that are already out in the Wii U which is a 1080p console, but Xbox 720 is coming out and you’ve got the PS4 and the rumors that been circulating say that they’re going to be 4K compliant. It’s going to be interesting to see if the gamers are the ones that are going to be really pushing the 4K content. What do you guys think?
Marcellus Perkins (Panasonic): I would really hope so, because the gamers are very, very important, and I think are a big drive to where the technology gets pushed, so bring it on. (laughs)
Sean Gibson (GI): Last question here, apparently you are a Dallas Cowboys fan, the gentleman right here is the biggest Redskins fan at CES. I think you guys have to duel to the death.
Marcellus Perkins (Panasonic): I don’t know, we can do that, but I think I have the better bling.
Sean Gibson (GI): Absolutely.
Carl Armstrong (GI): I’ve got to give it to you there, man, that’s some nice bling right there. I noticed right off the bat, myself, I was like, “He’s a Cowboy fan.” Tony Romo?
Marcellus Perkins (Panasonic): Yes. You’re not going to put me on the spot. For one more year I am, that’s his contract. (laughter)
Sean Gibson (GI): Marcellus, thanks so much for joining us here at Gaming Illustrated.
Marcellus Perkins (Panasonic): You’re very welcome, I thank you.
A special thanks goes out to Marcellus Perkins and the rest of the Panasonic team.