Windows 10 users with HDR-capable gaming PCs can begin enjoying HDR visuals on more than a thousand DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games beginning today. This is according to a new blog post from Microsoft’s Hannah Fisher, which noted that the Xbox Series X|S’ Auto HDR feature can now be enabled as part of preview available in the latest Windows Insider build. Microsoft’s Auto HDR feature is capable of expanding the color/brightness of titles that were originally mastered in SDR up to high dynamic range.
“While some game studios develop for HDR gaming PCs by mastering their game natively for HDR, Auto HDR for PC will take DirectX 11 or DirectX 12 SDR-only games and intelligently expand the color/brightness range up to HDR,” Fisher explained. “It’s a seamless platform feature that will give you an amazing new gaming experience that takes full advantage of your HDR monitor’s capabilities. The Auto in the title implies how easy it is for you to enable the feature; a simple settings toggle flip will let you turn the feature on and off.”
“HDR and Auto HDR are not just about boosting brightness but really about emphasizing the details in a scene leveraging the increased range: darkening shadows and illuminating highlights. Looking at Auto HDR and native HDR, you can see the similarities in how the details in the shadows and highlights are much improved using luminance ranges beyond SDR. SDR simply doesn’t have the ability to show the same range of color and luminance the way native HDR and Auto HDR can.”
PC gamers who are interested in seeing some of their favorite titles in a different light can check out Microsoft’s Auto HDR feature by installing build 21337 or above through the Windows Insider program. Auto HDR can be enabled simply by going to Settings > System > Display > Windows HD Color Settings and then toggling the “Use HDR” option on. Microsoft has also added a “secret” split-screen mode that allows users to quickly assess the differences between SDR and HDR content.