It’s been eight years since the introduction of Dolby Vision to the public, yet its application is few and far between in video games.
You can play games that support Dolby Vision. But only a handful of games allow you to play with Dolby Vision enabled.
As such, only a couple of PC games support Dolby Vision, and although Xbox Series X/S stated that they’re going to support it, Dolby Vision isn’t generally used by 99% of the games in the market right now.
According to TechRadar, there are only 15 games that support Dolby Vision as of 2021. That’s too low, considering that there are tens of thousands of games out there, and the fact that Dolby Vision was released back in 2014 makes you wonder why it’s impossible to integrate such a promising technology for video games.
Are there any games that support Dolby Vision?
According to the PC Gaming Wiki, there are currently 51 games that support Dolby Atmos. However, this number is a lot less with Dolby Vision.
As of this year, there are only 21 games that support Dolby Vision. This includes popular games from established franchises like Borderlands 3 and Tiny Tina’s Wonderland, Halo Infinite, F1, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare II, Metro: Exodus, and more.
Xbox announced before that they’re supporting over a hundred games in the coming months on their Xbox Series X/S, but Dolby Vision support is limited to their streaming apps and the listed games in their library.
Can Dolby Vision Play PC Games?
Certainly, but only a few games we know run in Dolby Vision. Most of our games now run on HDR or High Dynamic Range.
For example, in Warframe, you can run the game on HDR on supported monitors.
When enabled, it allows you to play the game with better overall image quality, especially when it comes to the contrast of colors between the points of the whitest white and the blackest black.
Even more remarkable is that you can run it on 4k resolution while reaping the benefits of the HDR’s static metadata, which better contrasts the game’s overall color design.
But that’s beside the point.
When it comes to Dolby Vision, the games you’ll play will become much more picturesque and generally look more appealing compared to other games that use only HDR.
In this shot, you’ll see the difference in shadows, ambient occlusion, light scattering, and overall image quality changing between scenes. You wouldn’t get this quality in a classic game set to HDR.
HDR’s static metadata doesn’t allow this to happen because it’s incapable of doing so. Dolby Vision’s dynamic metadata adjusts per frame or scene of a game you’re playing or a movie you’re watching in real-time, while HDR only allows it at one point of the game or a movie.
Does Dolby Vision Work for Games?
Popular games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Halo Infinite, and Metro: Exodus have Dolby Vision enabled.
However, native Dolby Vision support on games is limited because it’s not free. So as a result, game developers will be less likely to use Dolby Vision for their games unless they have a green light.
On the other hand, HDR is open-source software that doesn’t need anyone to pay the royalties you would otherwise have to pay with Dolby Vision.
Is Dolby Vision Just HDR?
Dolby Vision uses dynamic metadata, which adjusts the brightness level per frame or scene throughout the film or video game sequence. On the flip side, HDR (High Dynamic Range) uses static metadata to improve your monitor’s dynamic range, setting one brightness level in a scene.
As the name implies, HDR gives you a color difference between the darkest point in a game or a movie and the whitest point that your screen can produce. As a result, it makes a scene look more realistic than it should be.
Color gamuts are a spectrum of colors in a range of colors selection. HDR combines a broader selection of color gamuts so that HDR displays will have a wider variety of colors.
Also, HDR isn’t just a single category. HDR has three types:
- Dolby Vision
HDR10 is an open-source technology you’ll probably see in many electronic stores selling HDR display smart TVs and monitors. HDR10 uses static metadata to set one brightness level during the entirety of a film or a game.
On the other hand, Dolby Vision uses dynamic metadata, which adjusts dynamically to what brightness level you will see on the screen. Dolby Vision’s dynamic metadata allows a brightness adjustment per frame or by scene, which far outclasses HDR10’s single-point brightness preset.
HDR10+ is a project of Amazon and Samsung to rival Dolby Vision’s uncontested pricing. Samsung integrated Dolby Vision’s technology to allow low-spec displays to use Dolby Vision data, converting it into HDR10 so they can enjoy Dolby Vision without paying the price.
Is Dolby Vision Better than HDR For Gaming?
Dolby Vision enhances the overall pixel quality of color and depth accuracy of games and movies. But you can always tweak the brightness setting to match Dolby Vision with your HDR10 4K settings.
So using Dolby Vision over HDR for gaming is a matter of preference.
In HDTVTest’s experiment, you can see that there are close to no differences between the two copies of Forza Horizon 4 running on identical Xbox Series X and LG C1 OLED.
By tweaking the HDR Whitepoint and Brightness of HDR10, he manages to match the same quality from the Dolby Vision settings.
The game is significantly darker in the Dolby Vision support compared to the HDR10. However, the environment doesn’t benefit the players much regarding gameplay.
Sure, it will look strikingly better and impressive, but that doesn’t mean it’s better when you’re playing against a bunch of enemies.
As a third-person shooter, you prioritize being able to react and see where the enemies are and where they’re coming from, so you can kill them before they do.