Up Your Game By Getting A Decent Gaming Monitor Designed For Console Gaming on PS4, Xbox and Nintendo
Since the first days of console gaming back in the ’70s, gaming consoles have historically used televisions as their primary display device. While some gamers started to use monitors during the PlayStation 2 era, gaming monitors never carved out more than a small niche among the populace. However, with the release of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 helping to push HDMI as the new video standard, gaming monitors are now one of the most popular display devices to use with consoles. If you’ve yet to switch from an HDTV to a console gaming monitor, there is no better time than now to make the jump.
Why Choose a Monitor Over a Television?
At first glance, it seems like there is nothing but downsides to choosing a console gaming monitor over an HDTV, such as a smaller screen size and less functionality. However, look a bit closer and you’ll find that a decent console gaming monitor can offer a plethora of features that make your HDTV look as outdated as an old CRT television.
The most immediate difference you’ll notice between an HDTV and a console gaming monitor is that the screen displays a better picture. While many television manufacturers tend to make their devices appealing to a broad audience, gaming monitor manufacturers focus specifically on creating a device that will make your games pop. Many gaming monitors offer proprietary technology that gives you better color saturation, darker blacks and even preset color modes built for specific genres of games.
If you follow the professional eSports gaming circuit, you’ll notice a significant number of players use gaming monitors for their video game consoles rather than televisions. Not only is this because a console gaming monitor is more portable than an HDTV, but because it also offers a faster response time. While most gamers won’t notice the slight delay that occurs from the time you press a controller button to when the action appears on the screen, that slight delay is everything in the world of professional gaming. Many gaming monitors take great strides to make the time between pressing a button and displaying the action instantaneous, which can easily give you the edge in first-person shooters such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Lastly, console gaming monitors are cheaper than an HDTV and take up far less space. Often, to get the best picture on an HDTV requires you to spend upwards of $600 to $700 on the device, with a monitor providing a better picture at half the cost. If you’re a college student with limited living space or simply don’t have the room for an entertainment center and television, a console gaming monitor is an ideal choice due to its smaller size. Wherever there is a space, whether it’s on a desk or a kitchen counter, you can set up a console gaming monitor.
What Are the Disadvantages?
While console gaming monitors offer a multitude of advantages over an HDTV, this doesn’t mean the technology is flawless, and there are some disadvantages to using a console gaming monitor that you should keep in mind.
The first, and most obvious, disadvantage is the size: A console gaming monitor is much smaller than your average HDTV. Not only does this make it harder to see distant objects in your games but for some gamers, it also lessens the degree of immersion. There is also the fact that, in most cases, you’ll need to sit closer to your monitor than you would with a television, which makes it likely you’ll need to sit in a chair to game rather than relaxing in a nice, comfy couch. If you’re planning on pulling some all-night gaming marathons, you’ll feel the pain of sitting in a chair for hours at a time at the end of the night!
The small screen doesn’t just make it hard for some gamers to immerse themselves in a game but it makes local multiplayer a hassle as well. Typically, most local multiplayer games divide the screen into quadrants, with each player’s action taking place in one of the quadrants. The smaller the screen, the smaller your individual quadrant is, in some cases making local multiplayer games unplayable due to the action being too small. If you’re buying a console gaming monitor, it’s best just to stick to single player and multiplayer online games only.
You would think with a name like “console gaming monitor” that these displays are ideal for all consoles, but sadly, this isn’t the case: These monitors frequently exclude older consoles from the action. On most console gaming monitors, you’ll only have video inputs for HDMI and DVI, which means you’re only able to hook up newer gaming consoles and your PC to the monitor. If you’re a fan of retro games, you might want to stick with your HDTV to ensure compatibility with legacy video game consoles.
Lastly, you can describe the sound quality on a console gaming monitor as mediocre at best and terrible at worst. Most gaming monitors feature built-in speakers that are only 2W each, which means that most sounds coming out of the speakers are going to lack bass altogether and have reduced pitch. If you’re going to make a console gaming monitor your primary display, make sure to buy a high-quality set of speakers to accompany it.
What Makes a Good Console Gaming Monitor?
When choosing a console gaming monitor, you’ll want to look for three things: a fast response time, the proprietary features it offers and how many HDMI slots it has.
The faster the response time, the less input lag there is, as described earlier in this guide. The general rule is that the lower the number, the faster the response time is. You’ll want to look for monitors with a 1ms response time, with even 2ms still being acceptable; however, anything over 2ms and the monitor just isn’t a decent console gaming monitor.
Many console gaming monitors offer the same assortment options to tweak your display, such as letting you customize the brightness or the gamma. What you want to keep an eye out for are any proprietary features a console gaming monitor has. For example, BenQ offers the Black eQualizer proprietary technology on the majority of their gaming monitors, which lightens your screen without washing out the black and gray colors. If you can’t choose between two console gaming monitors, the proprietary features of a particular monitor may tip the scales in its favor.
If you’re a multi-console gamer, you know how much of a hassle it is to switch video cables each time you want to use a different system. By getting a console gaming monitor with multiple HDMI slots, you can eliminate this hassle altogether. While this isn’t an essential feature, it’s one that will make your gaming life a lot easier.
The Top 10 Gaming Monitors for Console Gaming
Even with all this information at hand, there are still hundreds of console gaming monitors available to purchase. Below, we’ve hand-picked 10 of the best console gaming monitors to help you make a decision quicker so you can get back to what’s important: playing games.
BenQ has an excellent reputation for providing high-quality PC gaming monitors and with the BenQ RL2455HM 24-Inch Console Gaming Monitor, the company shows they are bringing the same fantastic quality to console gaming monitors as well. This 1080p monitor includes features designed by real professional gamers, such as RTS mode, a display mode designed to give you the best possible picture and response time in games like League of Legends. The BenQ RL2455HM 24-Inch Console Gaming Monitor is perfect for all-night gaming marathons, as the proprietary Flicker Free technology ensures that even after hours of use, you won’t suffer from dry eyes, headaches or nausea.
The BenQ RL2755HM 27-Inch Console Gaming Monitor offers many of the same features as the BenQ RL2455HM 24-Inch Console Gaming Monitor but includes three inches of extra screen space. You’ll want that extra screen space so you can take advantage of excellent features like the Black eQualizer, a technology found only in BenQ monitors which will lighten dark areas without washing out your black and gray colors. With two HDMI inputs in the rear of the monitor, you’ll have plenty of room to hook up all your favorite consoles at once, such as the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.
While some console gaming monitors suffer from poor viewing angles, the AOC i2367Fh 23-Inch IPS Frameless LED-Lit Monitor uses an IPS panel to ensure that no matter where you sit, you’ll still see the same stunning picture on your display. This console gaming monitor features a detachable stand so you can attach it to any wall, giving you an extra degree of versatility you won’t find with other console gaming monitors. With a 5ms response time, the AOC i2367Fh 23-Inch IPS Frameless LED-Lit Monitor isn’t an ideal choice for professional gamers, though the average gamer will likely not notice the slower response time.
The ASUS VG245H 24″ Full HD 1080p 1ms Dual HDMI EyeCare Console Gaming Monitor is a monitor that looks to put safety first, providing a number of features to make your gaming more comfortable. The ergonomic stand allows you to adjust the monitor to a position that works best for your neck while the proprietary ASUS Eye Care technology reduces blue light to decrease eye strain. The ASUS VG245H 24″ Full HD 1080p 1ms Dual HDMI EyeCare Console Gaming Monitor may put an emphasis on safety, but with features like a 1ms response time and a 75Hz refresh rate, it will also make your games look amazing as well.
While most console gaming monitors don’t provide high-quality sound, the GAEMS M240 Professional Gaming Monitor is the exception. This compact gaming monitor features four speakers that deliver rich, vibrant sound, with a port to connect a subwoofer if you want to add some bass. The 24-inch console gaming monitor offers more than just high-quality sound, boasting a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 and two HDMI inputs.
If you’re looking for a budget console gaming monitor that doesn’t skimp on features, then you’ll love the ViewSonic VA2465smh 24-Inch SuperClear MVA LED Monitor. This console gaming monitor offers the following:
A 1080p resolution
Proprietary SuperClear VA technology to provide a rich, vibrant picture
Both HDMI and VGA inputs
Blue light filtering technology built into the screen
Extended viewing angles up to 178 degrees
A 3000:1 contrast ratio
The Samsung S24E310HL 23.6-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor utilizes Magic Upscale Technology to provide a crystal-clear picture that will have you looking at your games in a whole new light. This console gaming monitor adjusts its image on the fly, with its Game Mode feature changing your picture with every new scene change to provide you with the best possible view at all times. The Eco Saving feature built into the Samsung S24E310HL 23.6-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor will save you money on your electric bill every month, which allows you to spend that extra cash on the latest video games.
The Samsung CF591 Series Curved 27-Inch FHD Monitor offers an impressive 1800R curvature on its screen that not only makes the picture look beautiful from every angle but also helps make this console gaming monitor more immersive. The white metallic stand gives this monitor a unique look while the 5W built-in speakers will provide a high-quality sound that blows away the competition. The AMD FreeSync technology ensures that no matter how much action is on the screen at one time, the Samsung CF591 Series Curved 27-Inch FHD Monitor will display nothing but smooth images.
A low price doesn’t necessarily mean low quality, and there is no better example of this than the HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch IPS LED HDMI VGA Monitor. This console gaming monitor may not have the bells and whistles of some of the more expensive console gaming monitors, but it still offers a variety of features that gamers will love, including:
An IPS panel that delivers beautiful viewing angles
A thin profile and small stand
VGA and HDMI connections
An 8,000,000:1 contrast ratio
A 7ms response time
An anti-glare treatment on the screen
An HP Enhance+ feature that provides sharper images
An LED backlight
When you’re looking for the benefits of a console gaming monitor with a screen size that rivals an HDTV, then you’ll want to check out the Acer Curved 34-inch UltraWide QHD Display. This monitor features a 21:9 aspect ratio that is wider than most HDTVs, letting you see more of the action at any given time. The two built-in 7W DTS speakers provide similar to a set of television speakers while the 3440×1440 resolution offers a crystal-clear picture with no motion blur or ghosting. If you’re looking for one of the finest console gaming monitors that money can buy, the Acer Curved 34-inch UltraWide QHD Display is a perfect choice.