Dolby Vision gaming hits Xbox Series X, Series S for select Xbox Insiders

Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has debuted Dolby Vision HDR support for gaming on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, first through its Xbox Insider testing program.
  • The feature is available to Xbox Series X|S consoles enrolled in Alpha Skip Ahead and Alpha rings connected to Dolby Vision-compatible TVs.
  • Microsoft plans to launch Dolby Vision gaming support to the public with a broader release at a later date.

Microsoft has announced plans to bring Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) support for gaming to Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, through its Xbox Insider test program. The latest update brings the feature to games on Microsoft's latest consoles, now rolling out to Alpha Skip Ahead and Alpha rings of the Xbox Insider program.

Dolby Vision first hits Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles enrolled in its bleeding-edge test rings, ahead of a broader release promised for later this year. The feature is now available to all with the latest pre-release update, after rebooting the console. Microsoft stresses this work-in-progress implementation might not represent its final experience, with plans to improve Dolby Vision support throughout the testing process.

Dolby Vision is the company's in-house High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology bringing a wider color gamut and increased contrast ratio across supported content. While Xbox consoles have supported the open HDR10 standard since 2016, Dolby Vision support brings an alternative HDR solution. Dolby Vision, superior on paper, brings improved color tuning, adjusting visuals on a frame-by-frame with dynamic data while pushing more colors and higher peak brightness. The results hinge on the content but it has the potential to upgrade visuals for many games on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

Using Dolby Vision requires a Dolby Vision-compatible display, far from guaranteed in the current TV market. While many of the best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S support Dolby Vision, check with your manufacturer for specifications on your model.

Most Xbox consoles already offer Dolby Vision for video streaming, limited to select supported apps like Netflix and Disney+. The update marks its long-promised expansion into gaming, delivering similar benefits for interactive content. The feature is exclusive to the best Xbox consoles in 2021, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, with plans for Xbox One availability yet to be discussed.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.