Xbox Series X Dashboard is set to get the 4K treatment

Xbox Series X Dash
Xbox Series X Dash (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Xbox Series X is Microsoft's most powerful console, designed to deliver a true 4K gaming experience whenever possible.
  • Despite this goal, Xbox fans have been baffled by the Xbox Series X Dashboard and other UI elements rendering in only 1080p.
  • A new update rolling out through the Xbox Insider Program is finally testing the 4K treatment for the Xbox Series X Dashboard.
  • If testing goes well, everyone rocking an Xbox Series X will be able to enjoy a crispy 4K Dashboard, Guide, and other areas of the UI.

The Xbox Series X is an absolute beast of a console, capable of powering the best Xbox games at 4K, and even at up to 120 FPS in some games. However, one curious omission from the Xbox Series X has been 4K support for its UI, a holdover from the aging and less-capable Xbox One series consoles. It looks like this is about to change, thanks to the Xbox Insider Program.

Up until now, the Xbox Series X Dashboard, Guide, and other menus have all been rendered at 1080p, causing them to appear fuzzy and soft on larger 4K displays. Today, members of the Alpha Branch in the Xbox Insider Program can download and test build 2109.210813-2200 (opens in new tab), which finally includes 4K support in the Xbox Series X Dashboard and other UI elements on supported displays.

Unless you're a member of the Xbox Insider Program and willing to accept the risks involved with testing software updates early, this won't apply to you immediately. However, the Xbox Insider Program does provide insights into what's planned for the Xbox Series X|S software experience in the future, and it seems 4K support for the Xbox Series X UI experience is on the way. Hopefully, players won't have to wait too long before they get to see this for themselves (usually, these features aren't more than a few weeks or months away).

The more affordable (but still capable) Xbox Series S is not mentioned as gaining 4K support for the Xbox Dashboard, but this is understandable. The Xbox Series S is absolutely a current-gen gaming console, but it targets a maximum of 1440p for its games, instead, so 4K support in the UI isn't really necessary.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

  • That's odd, my Xbox One X renders the dashboard in 4K.
  • Are you sure? I think that is just the Xbox displaying in 4K meaning upscaled by the box.
  • I'm pretty sure it is in actual 4K and not upscaled from 1080p because I hooked up my original Xbox One and it looks noticeably more blurry than the Xbox One X in 4K. The TV is showing the Xbox One at 1080P and the Xbox One X at 4K. So who knows, all I can go by is what my eyes see.
  • That's what I mean. The Xbox itself is doing the upscaling verses your TV doing the upscaling. Supposedly even the One X (which I can attest to) has a better upscaler than most TVs. You could be right though, but I think even MS has said that the dash is 1080p and that was to save resources for the things that matter, like games.
  • Is it actually going to mean we will be able to see more on the dashboard (more last used showing, more pins, etc) or is this a purely pointless exercise? As an aside, if 4K support isn't necessary for the Series S then it isn't necessary for the Series X. The resolution that games are running at has nothing to do with what the dashboard is outputting. But again, if they aren't actually using the 4K for convenience purposes then it's pointless anyway.
  • The problem with the 4K dashboard was that it was using more RAM. I wonder how they managed to work around that.
    Still, that was bad rep when compared to the PS5 UI.
  • I didn't know the dashboard wasn't 4K. Looks pretty good to me as it is. As long as the Xbox doesn't take a performance hit then no complaints with me.