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Can you connect a console and play on a laptop screen?

As you well know, it is necessary to have a monitor or a TV to connect a console to be able to use it and play with it, so it is likely that many of you have wondered if a laptop or even an All in One has an integrated screen . , will it be possible to connect a console and use that screen to play? In this article we are going to address this and we are going to tell you about the alternatives that exist.

If you use a traditional PC consisting of the equipment with its monitor and peripherals, and the monitor has an HDMI connection, it is very easy to connect a PS4, Xbox One or other consoles and use the PC monitor to play games (in fact, if the monitor has multiple video inputs you won’t even have to plug and unplug one and the other to switch between PC and console). However, with laptops and AIOs, things change, even though they also have an HDMI port.

No, you can’t plug the console into your laptop

Surely you have seen an HDMI input on your laptop and have thought about connecting your video game console and you have been left with a silly face or extremely confused by the fact that the image is not visible. Your head begins to wander and think the following: Why can I do it with any HDMI port on my monitors or televisions and, on the other hand, with a laptop I can’t? Well, literally, yes you can actually connect it.

hdmi in laptop

The problem is that the HDMI ports on laptops are only video output ports, that is, they only serve to output the image from the laptop to an external monitor and not the other way around. So even though you can connect the console to a laptop, it won’t do any good because that HDMI doesn’t support incoming connections.

Your laptop’s HDMI is output, not input

To understand what is happening we have to take into account that the screen of your laptop is not connected to the HDMI port, so it will not receive the signal and what is connected to said port is the computer’s graphics card. The problem is that we must add to this that said port is an output port and is not bidirectional. That is, for the image to be transmitted from the console to the laptop we would need an HDMI In port like the one you have on monitors and, therefore, receive information, not send it


For practical purposes, a console is like a computer and its HDMI port is also an output port and never an input port. Consequently, both the HDMI ports of consoles and laptops are always output and only serve to directly connect a monitor or TV to them, so except in the case that we have mentioned before of some exceptions in All in One computers , you will never be able to use the laptop screen to connect a console.

What would happen if my laptop had an HDMI-In input?

Well, it’s a good question, the first and simplest thing is that on the motherboard there would be a converter from the HDMI signal to eDP, so that the image would arrive directly to the monitor. But this would have to be prepared to support two video signals and the user to be able to switch between them with a key or a button.

eDP connector

Of course, having an HDMI-in input on a laptop would not only mean being able to connect the video game console, but also use the port to capture video and it is more than likely that the manufacturers would opt for this option. Then it would be necessary to integrate a video capture in the hardware. Of course, we could also use the graphics card’s hardware video codecs, NVIDIA’s NVENC or AMD’s VCN.

The problem is that this process, although ideal for hot video editing, is horrendous for playing games due to the enormous latency it adds between when we see the image on the screen and when we press the button. So it would not serve us to play video games. In addition, the task of capturing video is already done by external video capture devices and nobody buys a gaming PC with its powerful graphics card to end up connecting a video game console to it. It would be like using a car as a sidecar for a motorcycle.

The exception of All in One computers

all in one

If we look closely, an All in One computer is nothing more than a desktop monitor with a laptop motherboard inside. However, some of them are built not with TV screens, but with monitors and have HDMI-In inputs that allow us to connect a video game console as if it were a normal monitor or television. They are usually the exception, but if you don’t have space you can be a solution.

The reason why these computers usually have an HDMI-In input is not to connect the console to the laptop, but to mirror the screen or to extend the desktop of another computer. Although as we have already said, this is the product of recycling the circuitry of a monitor or television. Since for some manufacturers it is more profitable to do this.

Therefore, if you have an All in One computer and you intend to use its screen as a monitor to connect other video sources such as a console, you should make sure that the equipment has HDMI In video inputs, since otherwise Otherwise you will find yourself in the same situation as with laptops and even though you can physically connect a console, it will not work.

How to play with your console on your laptop screen

Fortunately, both SONY and Microsoft incorporate the ability to play their consoles on a laptop, although they do so with a certain trick, since they use remote technology to transmit. The catch behind it is that the hardware of the same consoles is used for their Cloud Gaming platforms. And how does it relate to what we’re looking for? Simple, our console at home can be turned into a local cloud server, which can transmit our games to another screen.

Can you connect a console and play on a laptop screen?

In the case of SONY’s PlayStation 4 there is PS4 Remote Play, while in the case of Microsoft consoles we have Xbox Play Anywhere. Both are based on the same concept that we have mentioned before. That if, in order to avoid unwanted latencies in the gaming experience, the quality will be reduced. Our advice? Try to have both the laptop and the console connected via network cable to the internet router so that they have the best possible performance.

Unfortunately, these are currently the only alternatives we have to be able to play the console on a laptop, with the rare exception of equipment that incorporates an HDMI input port, which are generally professional equipment and quite expensive.


There are alternatives to being able to play your console games on PC. The first of these is Microsoft’s XCloud, which, unlike Game Pass, which is an on-demand game service that runs on the user’s system and, as its name suggests, is a cloud gaming service that is included along with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The other option is PlayStation Now, which will be merged with PS Plus from June 2022 and will be renamed PlayStation Plus Extra and PlayStation Plus Premium.

Both of these options are great if you have a low-end laptop and want to play video games.



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