LAS VEGAS – Ultrawide monitors, curved monitors, oversized monitors – these are all fairly common in the gaming space. But what do you get when you combine ultrawide, curved, and oversized gaming monitor designs? You get the Samsung G9: a ridiculously large, ridiculously wide, ridiculously curved peripheral. There’s no price or release date for this monstrous monitor yet (expect it sometime later this year), but it’s the kind of thing we’ll have to call in just because there’s absolutely nothing else like it.
I tried to wrap my head around the G9 at Samsung’s booth at CES 2020, but with such a big device, it wasn’t easy. The screen measures 49 inches diagonally – but not in the same way that a 49-inch TV would. Instead, the device sports was Samsung calls an “ultra-wide screen,” which curves around a user’s head like a futuristic display in a sci-fi movie.
A novel experience
As to whether the device confers any gameplay benefits, that’s harder to say. The G9 occupied a place of honor in Samsung’s CES booth, with curious onlookers stopping for anywhere between a few seconds and a few minutes to see how the screen functioned. As such, it was hard to get more than minute or two of Overwatch in to test the device.
I can say that I found the experience a little baffling. Because the G9 was still part of a gaming PC setup, I couldn’t sit far back enough to fit the entire 5120x1440 resolution screen in my field of view. However, I don’t think that’s necessarily the goal. Instead, where the G9 excelled was in encompassing my peripheral vision. In first-person shooters especially, success isn’t so much about getting a clear view of every single thing that’s happening onscreen – it’s about knowing which fleeting glimpses to prioritize. With so much screen surrounding my head, I could see a surprising amount of stuff going on in the game at any given moment. The effect was a little exhilarating, and a little overwhelming.
Because my time with the Samsung G9 was so brief, there’s not that much I can say about it yet. To the best of my knowledge, the G9 is the widest curved gaming monitor ever released, with a 1000R curvature that mimics human peripheral vision. For gamers who aren’t quite ready to make the 49-inch-plunge, Samsung will also release its G7 curved monitor in much more manageable 27- and 32-inch configurations.
Tom’s Guide will have more to say about the G9 once we’re able to get a review unit in the office. Until then, it’s something I had to share simply because it’s a novel, bizarre, somewhat delightful piece of tech. And what’s CES for, if not to showcase novel, bizarre, somewhat delightful pieces of tech?
Be sure to check out our CES 2020 hub for the latest news and hands-on impressions out of Las Vegas.