If you’re a part of the Xbox Insider Alpha ring, good news: Microsoft is rolling out Dolby Vision on the Xbox Series X and S consoles this week.
Dolby Vision is an HDR format that adds dynamic metadata to an image, which translates to brighter highlights, sharper contrasts, and more vibrant colours. It was initially announced for the next-gen Xbox consoles back in September, making them the first ever to support the format. The news was tweeted out earlier today by Microsoft’s Larry Hryb, the director of programming for Xbox Live. If you are an Insider, you’ll want to make sure your TV’s firmware is updated and has the specs to play Dolby Vision content.
Both the Xbox Series X and S already support HDR, but it’s the slightly less beefy HDR10. HDR10 also receives metadata for HDR images, but it’s static. The difference with Dolby Vision is that you’re getting a continually optimised image for your TV.
This also isn’t the first we’ve heard of Xbox Insider members dabbling with Dolby Vision. Forbes reported in March that some Alpha Ring testers had noticed HDR games were outputting in Dolby Vision on compatible TVs. At the time, those lucky few noted that the picture seemed to be brighter, with black and colour saturation levels appearing more refined. However, it was limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, not 120Hz. That’s because many TVs still don’t support Dolby Vision gaming at 4K/120Hz, though a separate Forbes report noted that Dolby was working with TV makers to fix this.
Right now, it’s not certain which games will support Dolby Vision or when the format will roll out to everyone. However, back in September, Microsoft said Dolby Vision would be available for everyone in 2021. It’s not uncommon for companies to roll out newer features to a select few before releasing it to everyone. Given that Xbox Insiders are getting to play in Dolby Vision this week, it’s not ridiculous to assume the format should be available to everyone else soon. Well, so long as you were able to snag one of these hard-to-find consoles in the first place.