Microsoft announces first Designed for Xbox gaming monitors

Mike Wheatley

Microsoft Corp. has certified a trio of new gaming monitors as being “Designed for Xbox”, keeping in mind the advanced visual capabilities of its next generation games consoles.


The new displays all support HDMI 2.1 and allow higher refresh rates and smoother graphics when playing Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S games, Microsoft said. They each sport the shiny new Xbox sticker badge (pictured), so gamers can easily identify them.

As for what it takes to qualify for the Designed for Xbox program, that much isn’t totally clear. The most important thing is obviously a HDMI 2.1 port, but apart from that there’s no clear definition and each of the monitors announced today differ somewhat.

“Today, for the first time, we’re announcing gaming monitors from our licensed partners will join the Designed for Xbox program!,” the company said in a blog post. “We worked closely with leading display manufacturers including Philips, ASUS, and Acer over the last two years to prepare these products to take full advantage of Xbox Series X|S and HDMI 2.1.”

With so many new gaming features available these days it may be quite overwhelming for some who don’t know what they need to get the best possible experience. Various TVs and gaming monitors launched this year boast support for things like 4K at 120 frames per second, Variable Refresh Rates, Auto Low Latency Mode, HDR10, Dolby Vision and so on, but for the uninitiated it’s hard to know which features they should prioritise.

Microsoft’s new program is apparently trying to eliminate some of that confusion, but it remains to be seen if that will happen.

The new monitors include the 55-inch Philips Momentum 559M1RYV, the 43-inch Asus Strix Xbox Edition Gaming Monitor XG43UQ, and the 28-inch Acer Xbox Edition Gaming Monitor XV282K KV.

The Philips Momentum model looks like a smart living room option with its built-in Bowers & Wilkins soundbar. It offers 4K resolution at 120Hz, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro for low latency games, and throws in Philip’s iconic Ambiglow technology that casts a colourful halo light effect around the monitor while it's in use. It will also have a dedicated Xbox picture mode, though it’s not clear exactly what that does. It’s available to buy now on Amazon for around £1000.


The Asus model also supports 4K@120Hz and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, and has a DisplayHDR 1000 certificate that guarantees “true to life colours”. Pricing isn’t clear, but it will go on sale in October.


As for the 28-inc Acer this seems to be aimed at bedroom-based gamers. It also offers 4K at 120Hz and DisplayHDR 400 certification, with the company claiming a sub-millisecond response time. Microsoft added that it’s “TUV/Eyesafe certified” so it hopefully won’t do too much damage during those hours’ long gaming sessions, though of course, taking a break is always advised. It’s not clear when the Acer display will go on sale in the U.K., but it will become available in the U.S. in the autumn.


Of course, it’s worth noting that Microsoft has a partnership with LG Electronics in place that promotes LG OLED TVs as offering one of the best next-generation gaming experiences. LG’s OLED TVs are expected to be the first in the world to support 4K at 120Hz in Dolby Vision when the latter capability is enabled via an update to the Xbox that’s set to arrive later in the year. There's more about that in the video below, and it could well clinch the deal for many.

In any case, Microsoft has promised that lots more monitors featuring the “Gaming Features for Xbox” badge will be launched in the coming months.