Microsoft Brings Xbox Series X|S’ Auto HDR Feature to PC Games

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Windows 10 users with an HDR gaming PC can enjoy HDR graphics in over 1,000 DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games today. That’s according to a new blog post from Microsoft’s Hannah Fisher, who says the Auto HDR feature for the Xbox X|S series could now be included in the latest Windows Insider preview. Microsoft’s Auto HDR feature can expand the color/brightness of titles originally mastered in SDR to a high dynamic range.

While some game studios develop HDR PC games by mastering their game for HDR, Auto HDR for PC only takes DirectX 11 or DirectX 12 SDR games and intelligently extends the color/brightness range to HDR, Fisher explains. It’s a seamless platform feature that gives you a great new gaming experience that makes the most of your HDR screen. The car in the title shows you how easy it is to enable this feature; you just need to change the settings to enable or disable it.

HDR and Auto HDR are not just about increasing brightness, but also about bringing out the details of a scene by increasing the range: Shadows are darkened and highlights are accentuated. If you look at Auto HDR and Native HDR, you’ll see similarities in the way details in shadows and highlights are dramatically improved when light ranges outside of SDR are used. SDR is just not capable of rendering the same color gamut and brightness as native HDR and Auto HDR.

Gamers who want to see some of their favorite games in a different light can take advantage of Microsoft’s Auto HDR feature by installing build 21337 or higher through the Windows Insider program. Automatic HDR can be enabled by simply going to Settings > System > Display > Windows HD Color Settings and then enabling the Use HDR option. Microsoft has also added a secret split-screen mode that allows users to quickly see the differences between SDR and HDR content.

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