First ‘Designed for Xbox’ projector arrives in the US next month for $1,600

Although it’s the first projector with the badge, Microsoft’s “Designed for Xbox” program is a pre-existing initiative that’s seen it work with other manufacturers to make sure their accessories are compatible with its consoles. According to Microsoft, the program already covers “more than 15 categories” like headsets, gamepads, and racing wheels, as well as a series of displays from 2021.

To be clear, you can plug your Xbox into just about any projector and expect it to work. But Viewsonic’s senior business line manager Mia Shen boasts that its X2-4K projector “was developed to be considered a true gaming projector” and “went through 63 tests conducted by Team Xbox to ensure ultimate console compatibility.” Specifically, Viewsonic notes that the X2-4K has been certified to work with HDMI’s Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) standard to allow a connected console to control projector features like power and volume — though it adds that the feature works with “any of the current gaming consoles” and not just Xbox.

More importantly, the X2-4K is styled in the classic Xbox brand colors of black and green, so at the very least it’ll match the color scheme of your Xbox Series X (though probably not your white Series S, sorry). There’s also mention of “Xbox exclusive resolution and refresh rate combinations,” though it’s not clear exactly what this means — we’ve pinged the company for more details.

Viewsonic’s X2-4K with its Xbox color scheme.Image: Viewsonic

Viewsonic says the X2-4K can produce up to a 100-inch display when placed just 1.5 meters (about five feet) away from your wall (it’s a short-throw projector after all — not to be confused with ultra-short-throw) and offers a claimed 2,900 lumens of brightness. That sounds pretty bright, though Gizmodo notes that when using the more industry-standard ANSI measurement that rating drops to 2,150 lumens.

The X2-4K is equipped with two HDMI ports and a pair of 6W Harmon Kardon-branded speakers. Annoyingly, those HDMI ports use the 2.0 rather than the 2.1 standard, and the projector’s framerate tops out at 60Hz when showing 4K content. To play compatible Xbox games at 120Hz you’ll need to drop the projector’s resolution down to 1440p, though considering the lack of games that can max out the console’s resolution and framerate simultaneously that might not be too much of a limitation. The X2-4K projector can also be run at 240Hz if you’re prepared to drop the resolution down to 1080p.