Here’s a look at the Xbox Series X auto-HDR in action

By Dom Peppiatt
15 October 2020 16:59 GMT

Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox Series X and S would be able to apply HDR to older games on the new hardware.

As more game developers add HDR support in their games, it becomes more noticeable that older titles have gone without. Microsoft, therefore, has been working on new tech that’ll allow legacy titles to run on next-gen hardware with HDR automatically applied.

As Microsoft has previously stated, the new consoles will automatically convert SDR to HDR without losing the ‘original artistic’ design of the game – and now we’ve got our first look at that in action.

Watch on YouTube

If you need a catch up on how HDR works, here’s a quick rundown: HDR increases the range of contrast and color on compatible televisions and monitors – that’s what the acronym ‘high dynamic range’ stands for. This means brighter things are brighter and darker things are darker. Colors ‘pop’ more. Everything is a tad more vibrant.

In the video above, you can see how the auto-HDR works. The French Youtuber has two screens behind him; one with SDR tech and one with HDR tech.

As per other articles that have been published today – like this write-up over on Polygon – the Xbox Series X comes with a HDR calibration app that anyone with a compatible TV should run when they first set up their console.

Once this is set up, the console will be able to apply auto-HDR to older games. The video below, for example (courtesy of Jeff Grubb and EvilBoris) shows off just how much a difference it makes to older games.

Watch on YouTube

Depending on your outlook, something like auto-HDR on Xbox, Xbox 360 or Xbox One games may not be that big of a deal.

But you can’t deny Microsoft is giving players an array of tools that make gaming on the newest generation of hardware a very attractive option: Microsoft’s recent announcement that you can upload Xbox 360 cloud saves to your new hardware is testament to that.

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