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Xbox Series X Adds HDR To Older Games That Don't Have HDR

Give your older games a high-dynamic range upgrade with the Xbox Series X and machine learning.


The Xbox Series X can use a Smart Delivery feature to give you a version of software that matches your current hardware power, but even older games that haven't been enhanced for new hardware will get a visual upgrade. According to a detailed breakdown from Digital Foundry, the Series X will use a machine-learning algorithm to upgrade older games with high-dynamic range (HDR) color.

The report says both Halo 5 and Fusion Frenzy were shown running with HDR, and a heatmap showed highlights that went beyond the capabilities of standard dynamic range. The examples were a technical demo, but principal software engineer Claude Marais said it could "be applied to all games theoretically." That said, he said the team is still working through things like user experiences.

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"This was a show-stopping moment," the report states. "It was indeed Fusion Frenzy - an original Xbox title - running with its usual 16x resolution multiplier via back-compat, but this time presented with highly convincing, perceptibly real HDR."

Marais said that in a broader way, the tech could be used for accessibility. You could increase the contrast to help legibility for someone who cannot read well, or change the colors easily for colorblind players.

These new details came amid much more details about Xbox Series X, including full specs, a closer look at the quick resume function, a controller breakdown, and details about its newly announced release date. Though we already know a lot about the Xbox Series X, we're sure to hear much more at the digital presentation Microsoft is planning in the wake of E3's cancellation. Rumors of a Thanksgiving release date briefly circled after an Xbox product page mistakenly listed the date, but Xbox officials were quick to reaffirm their committment to a Holiday 2020 release.

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