Microsoft has just unveiled a new line of monitors as part of its Designed for Xbox program. But what's the difference between the gaming monitors from licensed partners in this new range, and any of the other countless options available?
The Xbox Series X supports 4K at up to a maximum of 120fps (in games that support it) over its HDMI 2.1 port. If you want to get the most out of it, you'll need a TV or monitor that's capable of support these specs, and not all are – especially gaming monitors.
Looking at the general options out there, finding a 4K monitor with a high refresh rate can get pretty pricey, with 4K 60Hz being a safe bet for those not wanting to spend inordinate amounts of cash on their rig. However, now that the PS5 and Xbox Series X have entered the fray, there's inevitably more demand for 4K displays capable of 120Hz. And that's where the new Designed for Xbox range of gaming monitors (opens in new tab) comes in.
These are dedicated gaming monitors made with Xbox in mind, and they offer a couple of features that might make them a better choice for your console than a gaming TV. First is size: no TV smaller than 48 inches has HDMI 2.1 features, but these monitors offer smaller options.
Then there's responsiveness: these monitors promise 1ms response times, whereas the processing in TVs means that even the very best of them have response times around 10ms. If you're playing twitchy games at a high level, that's a big difference.
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The Designed for Xbox monitors range from between $949.99 (approximately £680/ AUS $1,250) and upwards of $1599.99 (£1,140/ AUS $2,100). All of them offer 4K gaming at 120Hz, with the Philips Momentum 559M1RYV 55” boasting a dedicated Xbox picture mode – although the finer details of what that entails aren't touched on in the press release.
The Philips is set to launch first, followed by the Acer and ASUS monitors in October/ fall. You can check out all three with prices and release dates below.
Philips Momentum 559M1RYV 55”
The Philips Momentum 559M1RYV 55” sits in the middle of the three-strong lineup. Confirmed with a price tag of $1599.99 (approx. £1,140/ AUS $2,100) the monitor is releasing this summer, and includes a soundbar, and Ambiglow lighting. As you'd expect, you're getting 4K resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, as well as AMD FreeSync Premium Pro (opens in new tab) technology to keep screen tearing to a minimum.
Philips' monitor also offers HDR "with the VESA Certified DisplayHDR 1000 (opens in new tab), offering local-dimming and peak luminance more than 3x that of mid-grade displays on the market." The dedicated Xbox picture mode is another feature, but Microsoft hasn't divulged what that consists of.
The product page is live (opens in new tab) but isn't offering much in the way of being able to pre-order right now. We suggest you bookmark it and check back, or wait for more info on the launch.
ASUS Strix Xbox Edition Gaming Monitor XG43UQ 43”
The most expensive of the bunch, Microsoft has said that the price for the ASUS Strix Xbox Edition Gaming Monitor XG43UQ 43" may very depending on the region; but over on the ASUS site (opens in new tab) you can find it for pre-order at $1,999 (approx. £1,430/ AUS $2,635) with the caveat that the usual price is $2,199 (approx. £1,575/ AUS $2,900). That price will hold for the duration of the pre-order period presumably, which runs throughout July.
Expect 4K UHD, 1ms response time, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro technology for reduced screen tear, and 120Hz refresh rate. The ASUS monitor also offers DisplayHDR 1000 certification and 90% DCI-P3 color gamut so you know your games are going to look stunning. The Xbox picture mode isn't mentioned for this one, so we assume it's missing out.
The monitor has an October launch window, with the website citing an order fulfilment date of 15-30 Sep, 2021.
Acer Xbox Edition Gaming Monitor XV282K KV 28”
The Acer Xbox Edition Gaming Monitor XV282K KV 28” ticks most of the boxes as the previous entries: we've got 4K support at 120Hz, 1ms response time, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, and high color accuracy with great contrast thanks to VESA DisplayHDR 400 (opens in new tab).
The added bonus is the Acer VisionCare 3.0 (opens in new tab) which makes it one of the first monitors to be TUV/Eyesafe certified. There's no mention of a dedicated Xbox picture mode for the Acer, but if you're also a PC gamer, it's worth noting there's a built-in KVM switch which means you can hook it up to multiple PCs without faffing about with your monitor, keyboard, and mouse setup.
This monitor is cheapest of the lot, coming in at $949.99 (approx. £680/ AUS $1,250) and making its debut in the vague fall window. The product page is live (opens in new tab) but pre-orders aren't open yet.
Of course you can always check out what options are available to order now in terms of best gaming monitors and best gaming TVs. If you haven't managed to find Microsoft's new console yet, keep an eye on our Xbox Series X stock tracker for updates.