Just a few days ago, a new plug-in for Unreal Engine was released -- one that supports HDR10+. This comes not long after the recent plug-ins for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. The gaming community can expect to see a noticeable increase in the audiovisual quality of games coming in the next few years.
Unreal Engine, developed by Epic Games, is a 3D graphics engine that many popular videogame releases are built on. Some of the more memorable titles developed on Unreal Engine include Gears 4, Borderlands 3, BioShock, and Fortnite.
Before the recent plug-in releases, game developers were largely limited to HDR10. In fact, there are only a handful of games released on Xbox that support Dolby Vision, one of them being Halo Infinite. The plug-ins mean that common videogames can now catch up to the latest cinematic standards.
HDR10+ Technologies LLC named the new plug-in HDR10+ Gaming. The plug-in is meant to maximize high dynamic range (HDR) display output and brightness levels without requiring developers to manually adjust settings. HDR10+ offers incredible brightness and color contrast, along with seamless compatibility with HDR10 content and no licensing fees.
Developers can download the HDR10+ Gaming plug-in for free and enjoy simple implementation and greater visual accuracy right away. The plug-in uses the latest NVIDIA HDR NVAPI SDK driver, and of course, conforms to HDR10+ standard. Useful features include automatic calibration, low latency operation, and optimized dynamic HDR rendering. There's also a streamlined QA test process to help developers save time.
The first game we may see to utilize the new plug-in is expected to be The First Descendant, developed by Nexon.
In late June of this year, Dolby Laboratories released the Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision plug-ins for Unreal Engine -- both free of charge. Similarly to the HDR10+ plug-in, these help to automate and optimize game settings within Unreal Engine without the need for manual setup. Developers can now enhance game quality to Dolby standards with just a few simple clicks.
The Dolby Vision plug-in offers astounding brightness, contrast, colors, and crisp detail. According to Dolby, it delivers "highlights up to 40 times brighter and blacks that are 10 times darker than a standard picture, along with colors never seen before on a screen."
The plug-in has a number of features to make game development simple and fast, such as the ability to derive all legacy outputs such as HDR10 and SDR, GPU frametime costs of less than 0.2 milliseconds, and the ability to update Dolby Vision features via blueprints or timelines dynamically on each frame.
The Dolby Atmos plug-in is expected to take gaming audio to the next level, allowing players to pinpoint the precise position and movement of objects or enemies in-game. If gamers are enjoying games on an Atmos-compatible surround speaker system or headphones, they'll reap the benefits of precise audio placement and full 3D spatial audio, including environmental sounds above and below the player. Now, developers can create Dolby Atmos mixes for any game without the need for a custom integration. With cross-platform compatibility, developers can create a single mix that can be dynamically optimized for Android, Windows 10/11, and Xbox One or newer.
With the recent PS5 update that added Dolby Atmos compatibility, we're excited to see high quality audiovisual standards like Dolby Vision and Atmos become more widely available on both the developer and consumer end of gaming.