All About HDR Gaming on the Xbox One S

Learn about HDR features, compatible games, HDR-ready TVs, and 4K HDR compatibility on Microsoft's Xbox One S gaming console.
Written By: Colin @XboxDIY
Published: January 12, 2017
Updated: March 19, 2024
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Want to learn more about 4K HDR gaming on the Xbox One S? is here to help.

HDR has made a leap into the gaming world and gamers everywhere are scrambling to take advantage of this seemingly mysterious and new technology.

Microsoft made HDR a reality to the consumer gamer by introducing it on the latest Xbox One console release. Read on to find out all about 4K HDR gaming on the Xbox One S and what you need to get into the action.

What is HDR Gaming on Xbox One S and Xbox One S?

High-Dynamic-Range imaging, or “HDR” for short, is a term that has been popular among photographers for decades – it even goes back to the mid-19th century.

Simply put, it’s a technique that allows for greater contrast and range of luminosity than possible with traditional techniques.

What does this mean for gaming?

It produces a more lifelike and immersive experience, including brighter brights, blacker blacks, and an overall more enjoyable experience.

Since Microsoft announced the Xbox One S (Related: Should I buy an Xbox One S?) and Sony released a firmware update capable of supporting HDR on the Sony PlayStation4, people are wondering, what do I need to take advantage of HDR Gaming?

4K HDR gaming isn’t turn-key out of the box, but it’s accessible right now if you’re willing to spend a few dollars. Especially early on, it might be more difficult or expensive to acquire what you need to start using HDR gaming. But just like everything else, as time goes on these items become more affordable.

Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to start utilizing HDR gaming.

What Do I Need to Take Advantage of HDR Gaming?

There’s a few things you’ll need in order to check that Enable HDR box in your Xbox One system settings:

An HDR-Ready Console

The first thing you’ll need to take advantage of HDR gaming is a console that supports it.

With the recent announcement of the Xbox One S, Xbox gamers will be able to game in HDR by purchasing the new console. For Playstation fans, Sony recently announced a software update that will enable HDR on supported games for the Sony Playstation4.

There hasn’t been any word on whether or not HDR support is coming to the first-generation Xbox One consoles, but we can always hope considering the hardware isn’t much different in the Xbox One S than the original Xbox One.

Since writing this article, HDR is now standard across the Xbox One S, Xbox One S, and the new Xbox Series X.

An HDR TV or Monitor

Another barrier to entry for HDR gaming is having a 4k HDR-compatible TV. There are numerous 4k HDR TVs out on the market right now, such as the Samsung 50-Inch 4k Ultra HD Smart LED TV that will run you slightly more than your typical consumer TV or monitor, but with many more features.

When looking for a 4k HDR TV or monitor, there are many other names for 4k or names for HDR that you’ll see out in the market, such as:

  • For 4K: UHD, Ultra HD, 2160P
  • For HDR: UHD Color, Ultra HD Premium, and Ultra HD Deep Color

Make sure the 4k HDR TV or monitor that you are buying supports HDR gaming on the Xbox One S or Playstation 4 before you buy it.

Finally, it’s important to note that an HDMI 2.0 Cable is needed to support the speeds that come along with HDR gaming.

HDR Compatible Games

Although the list of HDR-compatible games for the Xbox One S is short right now, it’s only a matter of time before we start to see more and more games support HDR gaming:

  • Battlefield 1
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Forza Horizon 3
  • Gears of War 4
  • Hitman
  • NBA 2K17
  • Recore
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Scalebound
  • World of Tanks

What Else Should I Know About HDR Gaming?

If you haven’t hopped on the 4K HDR gaming train quite yet, don’t worry. Much like other new technologies they will be much more accessible to the masses before we know it.

There have also been some early reports of 4k HDR TVs and monitors having trouble with input lag that haven’t been fixed by some of the lag reducing settings on the TV.

This could be hardware, or it could be software; In time, console, game, and TV manufacturers will have worked out the kinks with HDR gaming. We will all be taking part in the future of high fidelity before we know it.

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