Dolby posted an update on its website that noted how the upcoming next-generation Xbox console will launch with Dolby Atmos support and then get Dolby Vision in 2021. That’s pretty exciting stuff, especially when we consider how the Xbox Series X will already be bringing 4K resolution gaming at 60 frames per second as well as immersive ray-tracing capabilities.
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For the uninitiated, Dolby Vision is one of the more exacting HDR standards, in that it demands a certain level of brightness and color reproduction. And Dolby Atmos is an audio format that delivers immersive sound, with physical or virtual systems building upon surround sound by having overhead audio channels. Modern cinemas have Dolby Atmos seeker systems, so you can consider the audio format as one of the best around for immersive sound.
Bringing all that to the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S means games that support HDR will have “10x deeper black levels” and "40x brighter highlights.” Combined with a touted 12-bit color depth, future Xbox games, as well as those that have basic HDR support, are set to look very impressive.
And Dolby Atmos will ensure that gaming on the Xbox Series X and Series S isn't just a visual treat but an aural one as well thanks to high-end immersive sound.
But there’s a rather large caveat in that you’ll need to ensure you have a TV and sound system that are rated for Dolby Vision and Atmos. Such hardware can be rather expensive. But it’s good to know that if you have such Dolby-grade tech available that the upcoming Xbox consoles will be able to tap into it when they arrive November 10.
As far as we know, the PS5 won’t have Dolby Vision, which could be a big blow for the console in appealing to gamers with high-end TVs or monitors. But on the audio front, Sony is delivering its own take on 3D audio in the form of the Tempest 3D AudioTech.
Sony’s audio tech will aim to deliver 3D sound not only through the optimized Pulse 3D wireless headset, but also existing TV and speaker setups. As such, the PS5 could deliver high-end audio without relying on expensive sound-and-vision kit.
All in all, the next-gen consoles look set to deliver the most immersive gaming experiences yet. The leap in graphics fidelity might not be as significant as it once was, but games are promising to be more detailed and realistic in sight and sound.