Xbox One S HDR support could be limited to HDR10 standard, Dolby Vision unlikely

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

When Microsoft proudly introduced its new Xbox One S gaming console, gamers rushed to ask where they could buy it. The Xbox One S seemed to be the device coveted by all, as its 40% slimmer design, up to 2TB internal HDD, IR blaster and better Blu-Ray hardware made it very appealing to gamers.

At E3, Microsoft confirmed that its Xbox One S would support High Dynamic Range for a better gaming and movie experience. This was an excellent piece of news since this technology offers a higher contrast ratio between lights and darks for better, fuller, and clearer colors. However, Microsoft forgot to mention that not all HDR-ready devices are equal since the HDR standard has two different levels.

The first level is the HDR10 standard, which is an open standard established by the UHD Alliance. The second standard is Dolby Vision, which is a more complicated to incorporate because manufacturers need to add licensed Dolby hardware in the media player and a 4K TV set to display HDR images. Obviously, this translates into higher costs.

The Dolby Vision standard offers a better HDR performance but unfortunately, the two standards are not mutually compatible, therefore Microsoft’s Xbox One S can only offer one of the two standards.

Microsoft revealed that its Xbox One S would be priced at $299 and it’s very unlikely that it could offer Dolby Vision support at this price. Also, Microsoft hasn’t offered any information about the type of HDR standard its Xbox One S would support.

Of course, saying that the Xbox One S is HDR compatible without mentioning which standard it supports is not an outright lie, but rather a lie by omission. Maybe we’re being too harsh on Microsoft. After all, the company introduced not one, but two new Xbox One devices — can’t be too down about that.

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