Microsoft today announced support for Dolby Vision games for its current Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. In addition to the pre-existing Dolby Atmos support, the new Xbox consoles are now the only consoles in the world to offer both technologies.
For starters, Microsoft has promised that more than 100 next-gen titles optimized for Xbox series consoles already support Dolby Vision or will do so in the future. Upcoming games like Halo Infinite will also launch with Dolby Vision out of the box.
Microsoft and Dolby are also working with developers to implement Dolby Vision in older titles. Games that are already compatible with HDR10 or Microsoft’s Auto HDR feature will also automatically update to Dolby Vision when connected to a compatible display.
Previously, Microsoft had only introduced Dolby Vision on Xbox series consoles for multimedia applications. Apps like Netflix and Apple TV can enable Dolby Vision when connected to a compatible TV. The feature was then made available to games via a beta update. But now it is rolling out for everyone.
Dolby Vision is an HDR standard that represents a huge step up from HDR10 by default. It is capable of higher maximum brightness and also lower minimum brightness compared to HDR10, resulting in an even wider dynamic range. It also supports 12-bit colors and while there are no 12-bit displays yet, this makes the standard more resilient in the future with greater color depth. Dolby Vision also supports dynamic metadata, although this is not particularly relevant for games as it is dynamic even with HDR10.
However, while Xbox series consoles now support Dolby Vision for games and streaming media applications, there is no support for Dolby Vision Blu-ray yet. If you have a collection of UHD Blu-rays in DV, they will continue to play in HDR10. Microsoft’s implementation of Dolby Atmos also remains clunky, requiring you to download the Dolby app and then pay to enable decoding of Atmos content on the console.
However, in comparison, Sony’s PlayStation 5 does not have native Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos support. On the other hand, the PlayStation 5 also lacks support for much more significant gaming-related features such as variable refresh rate and low latency auto mode.
You can read more about Dolby Vision and HDR in our in-depth review here.