When we talk about new, high-res consoles, we’re usually talking 4K. However, there’s a middle ground between 4K and normal HD. It’s called QHD (or 1440p) and it’s coming to the Xbox One X and One S very soon.
If you’re not familiar with QHD (or 1440p), it’s a screen resolution that packs more pixels than your old HD TV, but it’s not quite as detailed as 4K. You can use a QHD resolution on your 4K TV or, as some gamers are trying, you can buy a 1440p monitor that’s considerably cheaper than a 4K TV would be.
QHD also has some benefits on its own over 4K. With fewer pixels to process, gamers can get a higher frame rate, which means smoother motion in action-packed games where every millisecond counts. Even if you have a 4K TV, using a lower resolution with a higher frame rate might be preferable. QHD lets you get the best of both worlds with more detail than HD, but a higher frame rate than 4K.
As a bonus, QHD support is also the only way to get more pixels than normal HD on the One S. A no-frills Xbox One S costs around half as much as a One X, making it an attractive option if you want to game on a budget. It’s not quite the same as full 4K support, but it’s an excellent middle ground to get better detail without spending a ton of money.
Microsoft is rolling out QHD support to Xbox users who have opted in to the Xbox Insider program, which lets you try out new features early. If you’re not in that program, the feature will roll out in the near future as part of the Spring update. Once it comes to your device, you can choose 1440p from your “Display & sound” settings. If you have a 4K TV or a 1440p monitor, it might be worth trying out for a smoother gaming experience.