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Xbox insiders can now test Dolby Vision for games – here's what you need to know

Dolby Vision
(Image credit: Dolby)

Microsoft previously promised that Dolby Vision for games would make its way to Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in 2021, and it looks like we won’t have to wait too much longer for the impressive HDR format to arrive.

Dolby Vision for games is now available on the latest Xbox Insider Alpha ring release (2104) and enables Dolby Vision for Series X and Series S titles. Initially, it was reported that it was only available on a few games, such as Gears 5, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Wreckfest, but it appears that the implementation of Dolby Vision isn’t applied on a per-game basis, as you’d hope, but system wide.

Like Dolby Atmos, we’ve found that games that offer native support for the technology provide far more impressive results than those that simply use it as pass-through, though the benefits are still apparent. We expect that some games will specifically be designed with Dolby Vision in mind in the future, but it’s unclear whether the HDR format will simply be applied by the console to every title as is the case right now.

Dolby claims that Dolby Vision will make games look more realistic and lifelike compared to HDR10 as it can produce 40x brighter highlights, 10x deeper black levels and up to 12-bit color depth. It should also adjust HDR visuals on a frame-by-frame basis using dynamic data, which will provide a more refined picture.

Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos are currently only available on Xbox consoles, with Sony opting to pursue its own spatial audio tech known as Tempest 3D audio. Apps on PS5 like Netflix and Disney Plus don’t support Dolby Vision, either, while they do on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

The Dolby difference

Having Dolby Vision in games could be a nice bonus for Xbox owners to enjoy, as it has the potential to make HDR-enabled games look noticeably better than HDR10. Of course you’ll need a compatible TV to enjoy it, which rules our Samsung TVs, but those who own an LG OLED, such as the LG CX, will be able to take full advantage of the new HDR format for games.

Adam Vjestica

Adam is a Senior Gaming Writer at TechRadar. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. (He’s still recovering to this day.)