Xbox One X HDR requires More Effort to Implement than PS4 Pro, says Dev

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According to developer MercurySteam, HDR is easier to implement on PlayStation 4 Pro than on Microsoft’s next-gen console. Xbox One X HDR support requires two sets of images to implement whereas Pro is capable of handling it automatically.

High dynamic range (HDR) makes a huge difference when it comes to the visual quality in games. In fact, many people consider it even bigger of a deal than 4K. There is no doubt that higher resolution adds clarity and crisp to the image quality, but at the same time, it does not enhance the actual game graphics.

HDR, on the hand, is all about delivering better contrast and a wider range of color and brightness. As a result, it renders pictures that look more realistic and immersive.

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Xbox One X HDR vs PS4 Pro
Rise of the Tomb Raider in non-HDR (left) and HDR (right) – Image Credits: NX Gamer

Both PS4 Pro and Xbox One X offer HDR support. However, what’s interesting is that this piece of tech is implemented differently on both systems.

Dave Cox of MercurySteam explained this in an interview with GamingBolt. The Spanish Studio is currently working on Raiders of the Broken Planet, an online action-adventure game that will support HDR on consles.

Here’s what Cox had to say about working of HDR on both consoles:

Xbox One X required us to generate two images, an HDR one and a LDR one, to be used on non-HDR compatible TVs. On PS4, this process is done automatically by the system, simplifying things greatly. Overall, the process has not been too costly because Mercury Engine 5 already worked with HDR assets.

What Cox is basically saying is that if you want to implement HDR on PlayStation 4 Pro, all you have to do is to create an image focused on HDR. The console will automatically downscale that image to LDR which is the standard version.

Xbox One X Processor specs

But that is not the case with Xbox One and One X where developers are required to generate two sets of images. In other words, it takes more time and resources to implement Xbox One X HDR support.

It’s a bit of a surprise why Microsoft didn’t add this functionality into Xbox One X. We can hope the company will make the “world’s first true 4K console” work better for developers in the near future. After all, HDR is a bigger step forward in display realism than 4K.