Xbox Series X’s Brilliant Auto HDR Feature Is Coming to PC

Xbox Series X’s brilliant Auto HDR feature is coming to PC, and will improve the visual experience of over 1000 games.

The news was revealed in a post on Microsoft’s DirectX Developer Blog, which notes that the feature is initially available as part of the Windows Insider Program, which you can join here.

On the Xbox Series X, Auto HDR improves the range of colours and luminance of backwards-compatible games, and it will function similarly on PC. Users with an HDR-compatible display will be able to improve the visual quality of games by toggling the feature in the Windows HD Color Settings, even if those games weren’t designed with an HDR mode.

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If you’re still confused about the visual benefits of Auto HDR, there’s a handy example in the blog post (below) which uses a luminance heatmap to show how HDR can bring out the detail in a scene from Gears 5.

Essentially, it’s like using an auto-filter on a picture you’ve taken on your phone. Older games will naturally benefit from this technology, and in many ways are being given a new lease on life thanks to it.

Auto HDR heatmap image. (Source: Microsoft)
Auto HDR heatmap image. (Source: Microsoft)

As Microsoft previews the feature, it is looking for feedback as it enables Auto HDR on more titles and optimizes performance. As for the performance hit of this new feature, Microsoft says that there will be a slight, but not certainly not intensive, effect. “While Auto HDR does take some GPU compute power to implement, we don’t expect it to significantly impact your gaming experience,” the blog post reads.

It’s not the only Series X perk coming to PC – EA Play is becoming a part of Xbox Game Pass for PC as of today. Meanwhile, Series X users will soon be able to suspend games to improve download speeds.

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Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.

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