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Microsoft rolls out Dolby Vision HDR test program to Xbox Series X/S

Xbox Series X Dolby Vision HDR
(Image credit: Dolby)

Microsoft is stepping up preparations to bring Dolby Vision HDR gaming to the Xbox Series X and Series S. Xbox Insider Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead members can now play with the feature ahead of a broader rollout, which is said to be coming soon.

Xbox's director of programming for Xbox Live, Larry Hryb, announced the news in a tweet. Microsoft 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.

The announcement also promises that the Series X and S will support “a new enhancement created by Dolby and Microsoft for HDR gaming”. Microsoft has yet to release details of this, but claims it will beef up your HDR gaming experience “when connected to a Dolby Vision TV”.

The Xbox Series X and S are the first consoles to support gaming in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. 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 invite-only Alpha Ring offers users the chance to preview future Xbox releases in return for feedback. A handful of testers noticed in March that Dolby Vision gaming was enabled within the Xbox Alpha Ring, but today’s announcement makes things official.

Already a member of the exclusive Alpha ring? Update your TV to its latest firmware to take full advantage of Dolby Vision and next-gen gaming features such as automatic low-latency mode (ALLM) and variable refresh rate (VRR), and you should be good to go.

Microsoft is quick to point out that at this stage it is merely “testing the technology, which means it is not necessarily representative of the final experience yet”. There’s still no word on when Dolby Vision gaming will be available to all, but there’s an expectation it will happen by the end of this year.

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