Unreal Engine adds support for Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and HDR10+

Mike Wheatley

Unreal Engine, the powerful 3D graphics engine that’s used by hundreds of popular video games developers, is adding support for the most advanced high dynamic range formats – Dolby Vision and HDR10+, as well as Dolby Atmos surround sound.

The updates will likely lead to hundreds of new games that take advantage of the HDR formats to deliver more realistic, eye-popping graphics and visual effects.

HDR gaming is not a new concept, but Unreal Engine’s decision to embrace Dolby Vision and HDR10+ means that these kinds of games will no longer be the rarity they are now.

Until now, most video games have been limited to HDR10, which is a more static HDR format that lacks the ability to dynamically adapt on a frame-by-frame basis. To date, only a very small number of video games on the Microsoft Xbox have integrated support for Dolby Vision, including titles such as Halo Infinite and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen.

But given the immense popularity of Unreal Engine, which sits at the heart of AAA games like Fortnite, Gears 4 and Borderlands 3, the list of Dolby Vision and HDR10+ supporting titles is likely to expand massively. Every game that’s built on Unreal Engine can take advantage of the move to deliver more vivid and realistic colours with bolder contrast.

Of course, Dolby Vision HDR support will still be exclusive to Xbox Series X and S, and PC games that run on Windows 10 or later, as the Sony PlayStation 5 doesn’t yet support the format. However, Dolby Atmos will be more widespread, as it’s also supported by the previous-generation Xbox One console and most Android devices. As such, gamers will be able to enjoy immersive audio on many more games and platforms.

Dolby has long been focused on expanding HDR support to the gaming world, and it released its Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos plugin for Unreal Engine back in July. Meanwhile the Samsung-backed HDR10+ technology group has just announced an Unreal Engine plugin for its developers to take advantage of that format. Through the plugin, advanced capabilities including variable refresh rates, 120Hz at 4K, and automatic calibration between the game and the TV display are supported.

Unreal Engine said the first of its games to add support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ will be The First Descendant, sometime next year.

Sony PlayStation fans will have to wait, unfortunately. While Sony has promised to add support for Dolby Vision at some point, its console currently only supports HDR10. It does, however, support Dolby Atmos.