Microsoft is cooperating with Dolby and will offer the two technologies Atmos and Vision exclusively on its next-gen Xbox Series X and Series S consoles for two years. Thus, PS5 owners have to do without the surround sound and the HDR extension from Dolby for the time being.
An official post on the Microsoft blog Xbox Wire, which has now been deleted, shows that both Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision will be reserved for Xbox consoles through an exclusive partnership until 2023. Since the launch of the Xbox Series X and Series S last year, the Atmos surround sound feature has already been available via HDMI on TV models and soundbars and, for a fee, via Dolby Access for headphones. The optimized HDR mode Vision will be activated in the course of the year and is currently being tested within the Xbox Insider Preview versions.
Brighter images, high contrast and immersive surround sound Experience
As part of Dolby Gaming, the focus is on vision as an alternative to classic High Dynamic Range (HDR). The technology promises a significantly brighter picture, improved black levels, and a color depth of up to 12-bit. Dolby Atmos, on the other hand, should convince in comparison to a standard 5.1 surround system with an even more immersive and precise surround sound, which above all should better bring out the gaming environment. Compatible hardware is required for both Dolby features. Televisions, soundbars, home theater systems, A/V receivers, or headsets must explicitly support the standards.
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While the test phase of Dolby Vision is still ongoing, Dolby Atmos can already be used by end-users. The cheapest entry point is likely to be the Xbox Wireless Headset, which has been specially optimized for surround sound technologies and costs just under 100 euros. However, there are additional costs associated with using Dolby Atmos for headphones. If the Xbox headset is delivered with a free test phase of 6 months, a one-time fee of around 18 euros will be charged for the sound expansion. Use via the HDMI sound system is possible at no extra charge.
After the early start of the French announcement, we assume that Microsoft confirm the partnership with Dolby again over the next few days and further details will be published.
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