Microsoft has announced that Dolby Atmos support is coming soon to Xbox One and Xbox One S, making the duo the first consoles to support Dolby's high-end 3D sound spec.
Microsoft has rolled out a new update on the Xbox Preview Program that adds Blu-ray bit-stream passthrough and Dolby Atmos compatibility onto the Xbox One and Xbox One S. Dolby Atmos is also coming to Windows 10 games and will be available on the Xbox app on Windows 10 PCs. As our friends at Guru3D note, this will allow the consoles to support "digital audio signals unaltered through SPDIF."
Dolby's new Atmos audio technology affords a new level of next-gen sound immersion through all dimensions--behind, in front, and above--and is typically used in theater environments to make screened experiences come to life. We can't imagine how awesome it'd be to play games like Titanfall 2 and Battlefield 1 in a Dolby Atmos theater environment.
So not only is the $299 Xbox One S the cheapest 4K UHD Blu-ray player on the market (now on sale for just $249), the console will support Dolby Atmos audio for an even greater value to home theater enthusiasts.
"Xbox will be the first game console to feature Dolby Atmos and game developers are excited about using the new capabilities to make their games richer and more engaging. Atmos support for the Blu-ray app on Xbox is already available in Preview and will be released to GA soon - and we're very excited now to offer Atmos support to games on Xbox One and Windows 10," reads the Xbox Wire announcement.
Interestingly enough, Microsoft says that you won't need to have expensive Atmos speakers to get the benefit of the spec: regular headphones can harness the spec's audio power, too.
"You'll be able to experience Dolby Atmos in your home theater, assuming you have a Dolby Atmos enabled speaker system or soundbar. But you don't need to have that kind of equipment - it will be possible to enable virtually any pair of headphones with the Dolby Atmos experience."
If you're a member of the Xbox Preview Program you can snag the update now--but be forewarned that Preview Program updates can soft-brick your console and trigger E100 errors (it's happened to me).
There's no word on when the update will be released and finalized, as gamers will have to test it out and provide feedback before launch.
Calling all audio aficionados. Rolling out to Preview this week: Blu-ray Bitstream pass-through including Dolby Atmos support on Xbox One/S— / Larry Hryb / (@majornelson) December 12, 2016
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