Should you buy a new 8K TV for Xbox Series X?

Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB
Philips Momentum 436M6VBPAB (Image credit: Windows Central)

Xbox Series X

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Should you buy a new 8K TV for Xbox Series X?

Best answer: No, 8K, and 120Hz TVs remain expensive, and we don't have enough details on Xbox Series X so that a purchase could make for high-risk investment. We still recommend picking up a 4K HDR display when buying in 2020.Our top 4K pick: Samsung Q8F ($1,199 at Amazon)Experience 8K today: Samsung Q900 ($2,498 at Amazon)

Should I buy an 8K TV today for the new Xbox?

Microsoft has kickstarted anticipation for Xbox Series X, its next-generation console slated for late 2020. Tailing the Xbox One X's impressive mid-cycle 4K upgrade, it already has the foundations of a formidable powerhouse, boasting AMD's future-facing Zen 2 CPU and Navi GPU technologies. The upshot is a box touting four times the processing capabilities of Xbox One X, poised to deliver up to 8K resolutions and 120Hz frame rates.

With Microsoft underlining such bold performance claims, Xbox Series X raises the bar for forthcoming displays headed to the market. The Xbox One X has just pushed 4K 60Hz gaming into mainstream households, laying hefty hurdles for display advancements to come. But it raises some questions.

Xbox Series X Controller Hero

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Picking up a new 8K or 4K 120Hz-capable display will theoretically leave you Xbox Series X-ready, though it's far from recommended in the current market. 8K isn't widely accessible in the living room, with the first consumer-facing displays extremely costly versus the payoff. Take the Samsung Q900, among the leading pioneers of the 8K wave, which costs $2,500 in the U.S. for the entry-level 55-inch model.

Xbox Series X's final hardware configuration remains unclear, too, as Microsoft finalizes plans for its next-generation platform. Given its target resolutions and framerates, support for the latest HDMI 2.1 interface comes standard, serving the console's 8K, 120Hz, and variable refresh rate (VRR) promises. However, we otherwise simply don't know what's changed from the current Xbox One family, making that steep price even harder to justify.

The safest assumption is about Xbox Series X's 4K offerings, expected as a by-product of its 8K and 120Hz ambitions. While already a core pillar of Xbox One X, few titles achieve native 4K at 60Hz without using visual trickery or slicing frame rates. For Xbox Series X's 8K plans, expect similar workarounds from developers, if games hit 8K at all. Just like Xbox One X excelled at supersampling 1080p images, expect Xbox Series X to draw the best from existing 4K displays.

Which TV should you buy for Xbox in 2020?

When in the market for a new TV in 2019, 4K resolution offers a healthy balance of performance and affordability. Existing Xbox One X and Xbox One S owners can take advantage of 4K capabilities, with benefits extending to Xbox Series X for its release. New 8K and 120Hz HDMI 2.1-enabled displays will drop in price over the next year, but additional overhead is best directed elsewhere.

We crown the Samsung 8QF as our top 4K HDR TV for Xbox gaming, packing a vibrant 4K resolution image with HDR10 support and accompanied by Samsung's QLED display technology. Images appear sharp with impressive brightness and contrast, serving up the best of games and movies.

The push for 8K is fast approaching, and the first range of displays are already on the market. The Samsung Q900 emerges among the early 8K leaders, using its signature QLED tech for stunning colors in gaming. The result is a strong entry point for 8K HDR with HDMI 2.1 support — if you can justify that hefty price. If you're dying to try 8K, we recommend opting beyond the entry-level 55-inch model to experience the benefits the high pixel density.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.