Top Xbox people hinted that it could be done if people wanted it. Thousands of people petitioned Microsoft asking for it. Now, Microsoft has delivered. Ladies and gentlemen, your Xbox One S and Xbox One X console will soon be able to play Dolby Vision video.
New notes on Xbox Wire today reveal that Microsoft is going to be introducing support for the premium Dolby Vision high dynamic range format ‘in the coming weeks’. One of Microsoft’s Xbox and PC Gaming employees, Brad Rossetti, confirmed the move in a tweet to Xbox Insiders, thanking them for ‘helping us test the Avatar experience and Dolby Vision’.
Dolby Vision, if you’re not familiar with it, adds an extra layer of scene by scene information to HDR pictures, so that displays can show them more effectively.
Thanks to Dolby Vision, for instance, your TV or monitor should reveal more extreme contrast, more subtle color and shadow detail, and more precise, natural colors. So long, that is, as your TV or monitor is actually capable of displaying Dolby Vision pictures.
The Dolby Vision support will, as ever, be made available to testers on the Xbox Insider scheme first, so that it can go through troubleshooting before rolling out to all Xbox One S and X consoles.
It should be said that Microsoft’s commitment to Dolby Vision on Xbox is, for now at least, limited to video streaming services. In fact, the announcement on Xbox Wire suggests that it will initially only work with the Netflix app and a Netflix Premium subscription. The feature has not been confirmed for either games or playback of Dolby Vision 4K Blu-rays from its UHD BD drive.
Surely, though, there’s a good chance that if Dolby Vision can be added for streaming, it might also be expandable to other areas of its console performance? (If anyone with sufficient technical knowledge of the consoles thinks there might be technical hurdles to the Dolby Vision support being expanded, feel free to let me know via the Twitter handle at the bottom of this article.)
The newly announced support for Dolby Vision completes the Xbox One’s Dolby story, joining as it does the consoles’ now long-running support for the awesome Dolby Atmos object-based sound system for games as well as films.
I will, of course, be keeping an eye on Microsoft’s developing Dolby Vision story – and it will be interesting to see, too, if Sony responds to Microsoft’s move by introducing Dolby Vision streaming support for the PS4.
It should be said, finally, that Microsoft hasn’t yet fully answered the petition I mentioned earlier, as it hasn’t also added support for the new Dolby Vision HDR format rival, HDR10+. But that doesn’t detract in any way from the importance to AV fans of adding Dolby Vision to the Xbox universe.
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