As the market for HDR-capable displays is starting to mature, Microsoft announced yesterday that it’s planning to bring its Xbox HDR Game Calibration app to Windows 11 PCs. The app will be available to download from the Microsoft Store, and it will let users perform different tests to improve the color accuracy and consistency when viewing HDR content.
Ana Marta, Program Manager in Microsoft’s Graphics team emphasized that not all HDR displays are born equal, which can lead to inconsistent and frustrating experiences. “In some cases, particularly on displays without HDR certification, the displayed content is sometimes brighter than the maximum supported brightness of your display or darker than the minimum supported brightness. This causes a “clipping” effect where you won’t see any detail in the highlights or the shadows of a scene,” the Program Manager wrote.
If you’re familiar with the Xbox HDR Game Calibration app, the upcoming Windows HDR Calibration app will offer three different tests to improve how HDR content looks. “Certified displays typically work better out of the box without necessarily needing calibration, but you should still consider using the Windows HDR Calibration app on your HDR display,” explained Marta.
With Windows 11, Microsoft introduced new gaming features that made their debut on Xbox consoles, including Auto HDR and the DirectStorage API. This work is still ongoing, and Windows 11 Insiders can already test upcoming optimizations for windowed games including support for Auto HDR and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). Microsoft wants Windows 11 to be the best OS for PC gaming, and Auto HDR is a good example of a new platform feature that can make older games look better without requiring any work from developers.