So you're eying up that Xbox One X but aren't sure if you can justify the pricetag. It happens to us all. The important question is though, do you need to buy a 4K TV to go alongside your shiny new console to fully appreciate the extra pixels? Short answer? No. There are a range of visual enhancements and improvements that you'll see the benefits from on a normal HD screen. However, there's a lot more to if than that, so let's go through the details in... well, more detail.
Do I need a 4K TV to play Xbox One X games?
No, like all consoles the Xbox One X will output a signal that can be read by whatever you can plug it into with an HDMI. 1080p isn't a problem, so whatever you're already playing on will work just fine, as well as an HD screen currently around. 4K is the peak output but not the only option.
Will an Xbox One X make games look better in 1080p?
While you won't obviously get 4K on a 1080p screen, you will still see some benefits thanks to something called supersampling. This is a process whereby the Xbox One X renders an initial image in 4K and then downsizes it to 1080p. Because the original image was a much higher resolution, the 1080p results retain much more detail and appear a lot sharper as a result.
Take a look at these two images.
Normal 1080p output
1080p output supersampled from 4K
Can I see Xbox One X HDR without a 4K TV?
If your TV can see it, then yes. HDR isn't new and has been a part of Xbox consoles since the S. As long as you have an HDR ready TV, you can see it with or without 4K but there aren't many televisions on the market with HDR and not 4K technology.
Will Xbox One X framerates be better without a 4K TV?
It depends on the game but framerate improvements don't need a 4K TV or output. Individual Xbox One X Enhanced titles are really cagey about specific performance enhancements, but Microsoft has repeatedly talked about how the extra processing power will be used by older games and un-enhanced games to boost and smooth out framerates. You'll even see a small increase in loading times, although CPU power and HDD speeds mean that won't be a huge jump.