Xbox Series X: here’s what Philips’ ‘Xbox Picture Mode’ 4K monitor actually does

Microsoft unveiled the line of Designed for Xbox monitors last month, and Philips is leaning into its collab with the brand

Designed for Xbox gaming monitors
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft unveiled its Designed for Xbox gaming monitors last month, and while they ticked all the boxes in terms of what we want to add to our setup, some of the features weren't quite so transparent. Happily, we've got a little more clarification from Philips about what makes its Momentum 559M1RYV 55” monitor so special.

The Designed for Xbox gaming monitors range is currently comprised of three products: the aforementioned Philips Momentum 559M1RYV 55”, the ASUS Strix Xbox Edition Gaming Monitor XG43UQ 43", and the Acer Xbox Edition Gaming Monitor XV282K KV 28”. Of the three, Philips' monitor offers a dedicated Xbox picture mode which piqued our interest, and we reached out to the company to find out exactly what it's all about. It turns out that Xbox picture mode boils down to three distinct features which we'll delve into below.

Philips Momentum 559M1RYV 55”

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Picture quality

First up is the picture quality settings. The monitor features Philips SmartImage which delivers optimised display performance based on the type of content you're indulging in. It "dynamically adjust brightness, contrast, color and sharpness in real time to enhance your display viewing experience." 

You can select your content type from the menu, whether it's one of the many gaming profiles that the monitor includes, like FPS, racing, or RTS;  movie settings which includes standard and HDR; or one of three customised profiles. And that's just for starters. But according to Philips, the picture quality settings specific to Xbox picture mode use the same preset as FPS mode.

Referring to the monitor's manual, FPS mode "Improves dark theme black level details," while a PR representative added that both modes include Philips' SmartResponse technology. This is the overdrive feature common in many brands' monitors that reduces response time and is ideal for shooters. You can also manually tweak this in the settings using the off, fast, faster, and fastest options.   

Customised T3 Xbox Series X controller

(Image credit: Microsoft)

 Control your monitor with your Xbox controller

The second feature of Philips' Xbox picture mode is HDMI CEC (HDMI Consumer Electronics Control). Broadly speaking, HDMI CEC allows for remote control passthrough so that you can use supported devices to control your TV/ monitor in addition to the remote control it shipped with. 

Xbox picture mode lets you use your Xbox controller to power the monitor on and off, as well as controlling its volume, with the Philips PR rep clarifying that the volume is "controlled by the Xbox". 

We'd assume this is a feature of the monitor regardless of which mode you're in, but Philips is getting back to us to confirm. 

Philips Ambiglow

(Image credit: Philips)

Xbox-themed Philips Ambiglow 

The Philips Momentum 559M1RYV 55” includes a soundbar, and Ambiglow lighting, with the latter aimed at increasing immersion by creating a "halo of light" that "continuously adapts the [in] colour and match the image" on-screen. 

When the monitor is in Xbox picture mode, it emits a static green glow because you're playing on Xbox, babyyyy! If anything, I'd say this detracts from the immersion because your display is ensconced in an eery green light regardless of what's happening on-screen. But that's just my opinion. Xbox fans might love it.    

Just to remind you, the Philips Designed for Xbox monitor boasts 4K gaming at 120Hz and promises 1ms response times. Launching this summer, it comes in at $1599.99 (approx. £1,140/ AUS $2,100), putting it in the middle of the three monitors in Xbox's program, price-wise. 

If you can't wait, or don't want to splash out that much, you can read up on our best gaming monitors and best gaming TVs in the meantime. 

Shabana Arif

Shabana worked at as News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.