We’re mostly a PC gaming related site, but you may be looking to buy a monitor for your game console! That’s OK, we like consoles too, they have their place and can be lots of fun. Sure, you’ll never get the 144Hz 4K experience on the current generation of consoles but that’s not what people buy them for!
The reviews on this site are geared towards the PC gamer, especially when talking about refresh rates and adaptive sync technologies – these just don’t apply to console gamers. But then that’s one reason people prefer to game on consoles, it’s all a lot simpler. No need to worry about graphics cards and memory chips, consoles, for the most part, just plug and play.
If you’ve found this page it’s because you are looking to buy a gaming monitor for your XBox One, but this post equally applies to the XBox 360 and the PlayStation rivals. Fortunately there is a lot cross over in what makes a good PC monitor and what is a good console monitor so we’ll have plenty to talk about and can easily make some recommendations for you to explore.
How to Choose a Console Monitor
We’ll take you through some of the common question that we’re asked about buying the best monitor for an XBox. You want a screen that will show off the likes of Halo in their best light.
High refresh rates are good? This site talks up high refresh rates in many of our articles, we recommend refresh rates of 120Hz and above for PC gaming. Unfortunately the current generation of console, such as the XBox One and previous, are not capable of outputting higher frequencies. Your console won’t be able to take advantage of a 144Hz monitor. The maximum the
Does the XBox One work with a 144Hz monitor? Yes, actually, it should work. The XBox will only output as many frames as it can handle, which might actually be just 30 frames per second. The monitor may have an option to run at a lower frequency but if not it will just hold the same frame for a couple of refreshes. As these monitors are more expensive, there is not point in purchasing one unless you plan to share it with a PC, or might use it with a PC at a later date.
Can I use DisplayPort monitor port with my XBox One? There are adapters out there but it is not as simple as just getting a cable. This is not something I have ever done so cannot recommend it. If you are buying a monitor with the intention of linking it to your XBox then I would ensure it has an HDMI port.
What resolution can the XBox support? The XBox One is designed for good old “full” high definition gaming at 1920 x 1080. You should therefore look at FHD monitors to pair up with your XBox. Unfortunately 4K technologies are well out of current console gaming reaches, and to be fair, most PCs can’t support a 4K monitor either. You also want to avoid ultra wide HD screens too. It should actually work on a high res monitor, but the monitor will have to work some magic, think about it, if a monitor is designed to show 1440 horizontal rows but you are only sending it 1080 you’re not going to get the optimal image, if you do have to go down this route, check how the screen handles interpolation and upscaling.
Do I need the fastest response time? Response time is one of a number of factors that lead to the a game ready monitor’s overall feel. You want your screen to give a clear image, you want it to respond instantly to in-game movement, you want to avoid a “laggy” disconnected feel when playing. Sure, low response times are “better” but just because a monitor boosts a 1ms refresh doesn’t mean it’s going to be noticeably more playable than one with say 5ms response time.
And what about viewing angles? Some monitors just don’t look great when viewed from a side on angle. You’ve probably seen this effect before, you look at a screen from the side and all the colours look way off. In reality we mostly use these screens when sat at a desk looking directly at the screen, but even this can still show a shift between the top and bottom. You’ll see this effect at its worst on TN (Twisted Nematic) based monitors. However on a properly calibrated IPS based screen you can expect all the colours to look the same shade from wider viewing angles.
What else do you need to consider when buying a gaming monitor for your XBox? I would also suggest thinking carefully about size. I don’t see why anyone would be looking at anything smaller than 24″, unless you have a particular requirement for a tiny screen! Bigger is usually better, and if you aren’t planning to sit in front of the screen at a desk then you’ll be looking at 27″ at least. Personally I prefer thin mountable screens with minimal bezels, they look good and provide little to distract from the action. If you are looking to mount it, you’ll want to look for standard VESA mounting. And finally, you might want to look for height, swivel and tilt adjustment options if you are planning to vary your playing position!
It is highly likely that the next generation of consoles that emerge will support higher resolutions and better refresh rates. But the gap between successive console systems is fairly long (the XBox 360 was released in 2005 and the the XBox One followed in 2013!) so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Personally I would concentrate on buying a screen that met my needs right now. Who knows how technology will change in the next 5 to 10 years? Will 4k or 8k be the norm? Or will be there something totally new on the horizon that we haven’t even thought of yet!