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Xbox and Windows 10 to get Dolby Atmos audio support in 2017

Hey, listen!

In other video game audio news, Microsoft's said Dolby Atmos sound is coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 in 2017. Xbox will be the first game console to feature Dolby Atmos.

Dolby Atmos is 3D sound, which lets you hear in-game effects from all directions. You'll hear snipers over your left shoulder, for example, or attackers coming from behind you.

In a post on Xbox Wire, Microsoft used Blizzard's multiplayer shooter Overwatch to highlight the benefits. It's a bit cringe, but let's roll with it:

1

Can you hear me?

  • "Justice rains from above!"
  • If you play Overwatch, that sentence may give you nightmares. It's Pharah's catch phrase as she hangs in the air and lets loose a barrage of rockets that destroy everything in their path. Pharah's attack is so effective in part because you may not be able to tell where it's coming from.
  • But I have a secret weapon to defend against Pharah's barrage: Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos is sound so precise you can pinpoint exactly where Pharah is and avoid her wrath. And the great news is that starting next year, Dolby Atmos will be coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs and tablets.

You can make use of Dolby Atmos if you have a Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker system or soundbar. But it works with virtually any pair of headphones, Microsoft said.

In other Xbox engineering news, Microsoft announced Blu-ray Bitstream pass-through, which includes Dolby Atmos support on Xbox One and Xbox One S, is rolling out to Xbox Preview members. This lets all Xbox consoles pass Blu-ray audio data untouched to a user's audio equipment. So, if you've got a pro audio set-up, you can get the best possible audio from Blu-ray movies.

(To use this feature, you need to have your console connected over HDMI to a compatible audio receiver which supports decoding of popular Blu-ray audio formats.)

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