Xbox to get Dolby Vision in new update, potentially beating Sony to the punch

As display technology has progressed, our streaming devices have been playing catch-up. Nintendo still doesn’t support 4K, and the Xbox One S/Xbox One X has only supported HDR10 so far, with no Dolby Vision support in sight…until now.

In an upcoming update to the Xbox One software, Dolby Vision will finally be released. As it stands right now, no major gaming console supports Dolby Vision, as the PS4 Pro still only supports HDR10.

Dolby Vision is similar to HDR10, but Dolby Vision supports brighter displays, a 12-bit color depth, and uses the BT.2020 color space versus HDR’s DCI-P3.

That’s a lot of technical terms, but in the end, Dolby Vision is designed to be a higher-end version of HDR10. HDR10 is easier to manufacture and get certified for due to its lower barrier of entry (10-bit color depth, 4,000 nit brightness verses 10,000, and a more widely used DCI-P3 color space).

When it comes to supporting both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, not many devices do it. Apple does with their Apple TV 4K, and Google has it with their Chromecast Ultra, but that’s it for now.

Microsoft rolling out Dolby Vision to Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles would mean that Microsoft would be among the only streaming machines to support Dolby Vision.

This isn’t a huge change, and you likely won’t notice a major difference in gaming or watching movies unless you have a pretty high-end television, but where update shines is in the standards war. Just like ages past, there are two standards battling here: HDR10 and Dolby Vision for high dynamic range content.

In the last major standards war, Blu-ray versus HD DVD, Microsoft picked the losing side and supported HD DVD with its Xbox 360 console (and that’s why it never could play Blu-ray). With Dolby Vision support, Microsoft is making sure that whichever format comes out on top, they support it and won’t be left behind like last time.

This update isn’t quite live yet and is only being tested by Xbox Insiders right now before it eventually hits the public channels.

There’s currently no news from Microsoft if Dolby Vision will be supported just for video streaming services like Netflix, in-game, or eventually expanding to Blu-ray coverage. But we know the Xbox One S and Xbox One X will be capable of Dolby Vision in the near future, and that might be enough to get me to switch back to Xbox from my PS4 Pro.

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