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Xbox reportedly has two-year console exclusive for Dolby Atmos and Vision

Xbox signs a two-year exclusivity deal for the use of Dolby’s immersive technologies
(Image credit: Xbox)

In recent months as Microsoft has rolled out Dolby Vision HDR testing to its Xbox Series X/S consoles - which already support Dolby Atmos - it’s been notable that rival manufacturers Sony and Nintendo were yet to mention getting on board with Dolby’s immersive technologies.

According to a now-deleted blog post on Xbox Wire France, spotted by Engadget, Microsoft revealed that this is due to a deal signed with Dolby to keep both technologies "exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem for two years".

After the exclusivity period ends other brands may still choose to avoid integrating Dolby support onto their systems, Sony in particular already has its own solution to creating 3D audio with the PS5's Tempest Engine.

Dolby Vision gaming is currently only available to Xbox Insider Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead members ahead of a broader rollout, which is said to be coming soon. The invite-only Alpha Ring offers users the chance to preview future Xbox releases in return for feedback.

Few titles make use of Dolby Vision HDR (Gears 5, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Borderlands 3 are the biggies right now), but Microsoft intends to “share details of new Dolby Vision games soon”. The company says Dolby Vision will bring "brighter highlights, sharper contrast, and more vibrant colours" to games, provided, of course, that you own a Dolby Vision-capable TV.

Meanwhile, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S systems have supported Dolby Atmos since release in November, while Xbox One was the first console to feature the 3D audio technology back in 2017. 

Currently, you need a $15 licence to access Dolby Atmos on Xbox or PC. However, owners of the new Xbox Wireless Headset can experience Atmos for a free trial period until the end of September. After this time, users will need to purchase the license for the app directly from Dolby. 

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Mary is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and has over a decade of experience working as a sound engineer mixing live events, music and theatre.