Need 4K TV for Xbox Series X? (Worth it or waste of money)

Microsoft launched the Xbox Series X gaming console in November 2020. One of the prominent features of the Xbox Series X is the ability to play some games in 4k. After buying the Xbox Series X, you might be wondering if you need to buy a new 4K television or stick with your old television.

So, do I need a 4K TV for Xbox Series X? You do not need a 4K television for your Xbox Series X because your console can play games in lower resolutions. The Xbox Series X can also play games on displays with 720p, 1080p and 1440p. The Xbox Series X can work great with a television with 1080p and a 60Hz framerate.

However, if you have an old standard television, you might not fully unlock your console’s potential and experience the great visuals that the Xbox Series X paired with a 1080p or 4K TV can produce. A 4K TV is very expensive, and if you are on a tight budget, you should first get a cheap 1080p TV. However, if you can afford it, you can get a 4K TV.

Technology in the gaming industry keeps improving as all gaming console developers keep releasing consoles and gaming PCs with great features to keep their consumers satisfied. When a gaming developer like Microsoft or Sony releases a gaming console capable of playing 4K games, it is important to upgrade your display.

The release of 4K monitors and televisions allowed gamers to experience gaming on another new level. Most gaming systems played games at 1080p until 2020 when Sony and Microsoft launched the PS5 and Xbox Series X to play games at 4K.

Gaming at 1080p offers gamers a quick response because 1080p displays work best with higher frame rates. 1080p displays also are less demanding on your gaming machine processor. After the introduction of 4K televisions, the price of 1080p televisions decreased, making them affordable.

The 1080p display also supports all games. On the other hand, 4K displays give you a stunning visual experience. Because of the better color and visual display, a 4K display takes a lot from your gaming machine’s processor. Also, not all games are made for 4K displays; therefore, it will not make any difference.

In gaming, frame rate speed (FPS) is very important, especially in more competitive titles. Professional gamers prefer 1080p displays because they work best with a higher frame rate. Most gaming consoles play games at 60fps and 120fps because the higher the FPS, the better the response time, and most gamers prefer a display with a quick response. If you have a television with a low response time, you might lose games that require quick reflexes, such as Fortnite.

Gaming with a 4K display is amazing, but many professional gamers prefer to use 1080p. The 4K television offers visually attractive pictures but fails to provide a quick response time. Gamers prefer to have a television that offers smooth gameplay rather than a television with stunning pictures but has high input lag. Input lag refers to the time it takes for an image to appear on your screen after pressing a specific button or key on your controller.

A 4K display is very demanding on your console or PC because of the number of pixels. A 4K television has a maximum of four thousand pixels, which puts a strain on your gaming machine’s GPU. Recent gaming consoles and PCs can play 4K games with minimum strain, but older gaming machines will struggle when you use a 4K display. The strain on the console or PC affects its performance in other areas, such as refreshing frames.

On the other hand, a 1080p display is perfect for gaming because it does not strain the gaming machine. A 1080p television has only one thousand pixels meaning that your gaming machine’s GPU cannot strain when rendering graphics. The picture will be less clear than those on a 4K display, but it is worth it because you get the best gaming experience.

The PS5 and Xbox Series X price range between 400 and 500 US dollars; hence, adding a new television can be very expensive. The price of a good gaming 4K television will start at 400 US dollars and continue to rise depending on the inches of the screen and other features. If you only had the money for a new console, there is no need to spend money on acquiring a more expensive television.

There are so many 1080p televisions that are affordable and can perform well. The release of more 4K televisions in the market has also reduced the price of 1080p television. If you had a 30 inch 1080p TV, you could buy a 55 Inch 1080p at a very low price.

Most 1080p televisions can run all games at 1080p, and many gaming developers will include 1080p support in all their games. The previous gaming consoles that Sony and Microsoft released could play games on a 720p or 1080p display. This means that all games released with these consoles were 1080p compatible. On the other hand, a 4K television does not guarantee that you will play all games in 4K. You can only play games released after the console because most developers are trying to include the 4K support in their games.

Since the older games do not have 4K support, if you get a 4K display, the images will be upscaled instead of being displayed in 4K. The quality of the images will not be good and can be distracting. You should also note that getting a 4K television does not automatically mean playing games in “true” 4K. You will get the most out of your 4K television if you get one that has HDMI 2.1 and a 120Hz refresh rate.

When choosing whether to buy a 1080p or 4K television, it all comes down to preference. Some gamers believe that it is a waste to use a gaming console capable of playing games in 4K on a 1080p display. If you play video games for fun, then a 4K television will not be a bad choice. If you are a professional gamer, the best choice of display for you is a 1080p display. A 1080p display gives you an added advantage over other gamers using 4K displays.

What Features Should I Look for in a Gaming TV?

The key to having a great gaming experience has a display that can match the abilities of your gaming machine. After buying a new gaming console, you might also want to get a new television, but you are unsure of what to look for. Certain features make television great for gaming.

When you are out shopping for a new gaming television, there are specific features you need to check, and the first one is the latency or input lag of the TV. You should also check the TV’s Hz or refresh rate. You should also ensure that the TV is future-proof. In addition, the TV should also have special gaming features such as game mode. Other things that you should check before buying the television include price, 4K and HDR, OLED, and connectivity.

Whether professional or recreational, the most important thing to a gamer is a display with low latency. A TV’s latency is when it takes to display an image on the screen after you press a key on your controller. During gaming, the time your TV takes to display the images on the screen can affect the game’s outcome. Most televisions have a latency of 60ms, but for an avid gamer, you need a television with a latency of less than 30ms.

If you have been gaming for a long time, you should be aware of refresh rates and how they affect your gaming experience. Most gamers prefer to play games at 60fps and 120fps, and a recent study by Nvidia proved that a high FPS does affect your chances of winning, especially in first-person shooter games like Call of Duty. The PS5 and Xbox Series X can play games at 120fps; therefore, you need a television that can play at 120fps. If you are a competitive gamer, a television with 120Hz is good for you, but a 60Hz game will work for you if you play games for recreation.

It is also very important to buy a television that is future-proof. Future-proof means that your television can still work and perform well with new consoles that gaming companies will release in the future. Game console developers try to introduce new features on the consoles, and, sometimes, the new technology is not compatible with the old displays. You do not want to buy a gaming TV that will not be compatible with most features in the next console generation.

Some television manufacturers include special features to attract specific customers, such as gamers. Some TVs have a game mode setting, which you can use during gaming. The game mode helps improve the performance of the TV by removing other unnecessary post-processing used for displaying regular content. If you have your television on regular settings, the latency can be 30ms, but if you choose “game mode”, latency can drop by close to 80%, giving you smoother images and a quick responsive experience.

Do not sacrifice latency for high-quality images because many games make the mistake of purchasing cheap 4K televisions with high latency and good image quality. The price of the TV matters because you need to buy a device that you can afford. There is no need to go into debt for something you will use for recreation purposes only. However, do not go for the cheapest TV because it has some of the features of a more expensive TV. If you want a 4K TV, you can window shop for a few days, save money for a few months and buy a nice TV that will last longer, and offer a great gaming experience.

You also need to check the 4K and HDR before choosing a new gaming TV. When buying a new gaming TV, the size of the screen will affect the quality of the images. If you are getting a TV of fewer than 45 inches, there is no need to get the 4K TV. Under 45 Inches, it is hard to tell the difference between a 4K TV and a 1080p TV. Current gaming consoles support HDR; therefore, you need a TV with HDR. HDR helps create images that have well-defined details.

When looking for a new gaming TV, you will notice that some of them have OLED on their names. OLED means the TV is capable of turning off individual pixels and does not use a backlight. An OLED TV has high contrast, clear images, and a “true black” picture. However, an OLED TV is only good for a casual or recreational gamer. OLED TVs can suffer from screen blur if you play games at 120fps, so it is best to get the one with 60Hz.

Connectivity is another feature that you need to check before buying a television. Most TVs have HDMI ports that you use to connect your console. After the introduction of 4K gaming, most TVs upgraded to an HDMI 2.0 cable and port, which makes it possible to play games in 4K. Without the HDMI 2.0, your 4K television will not display clear visuals even if you play a game with 4K support.

Wrap Up

Playing a game on a 4K TV sounds great; however, you have to sacrifice low latency for perfect visuals, which does not fit a competitive gamer. If you are not into competitive games and you have enough money, you can buy a 4K TV for your gaming console. With the popularity of 4K gaming increasing each day, buying a new 4K TV is a good investment. If you see yourself participating in esports, then a 1080p TV is the best option.

Buying a gaming TV is not an easy task because you have to consider many things before making the final decision. As this article suggests, you have to check the TV’s latency, connectivity, resolution, and frame rates. The most important thing to do is to never sacrifice latency for great visuals.

Many TVs provide great visuals for watching movies and TV shows but perform poorly when playing games. When you are doing window shopping, read reviews and call a salesperson to explain features you do not understand. Ensure you ask about the return policy, and if you buy a TV that does not perform well during gaming, you can return it instead of buying another one.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

Recent Posts