Xbox doesn't have an exclusive agreement for Dolby Vision and Atmos (updated)

You'll still need to pay a license fee to use Atmos audio with headphones on Xbox consoles or PC.

Aaron Souppouris/Engadget

Update 1/6 2:21PM ET: Microsoft published a blog post yesterday claiming it had a two-year console exclusivity window for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Today, the company says it was published in error and that there's no exclusivity agreement. Here's the full statement from a Microsoft spokesperson:

A blog post was mistakenly published by a local Xbox team that included inaccurate information regarding exclusivity of Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision on Xbox Series X|S. There is no exclusivity agreement of either tech on Xbox. We are proud to partner with Dolby to offer Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision to gamers on Xbox and will have more to share about the general availability of Dolby Vision on Xbox Series X|S soon.

The original post is below:

Don't expect the PlayStation 5 or Nintendo's rumored Switch upgrade to get Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos support anytime soon. Microsoft has console exclusivity on both technologies for two years, according to a Xbox Wire France. The post has been deleted, but there's a version that was saved by Google Cache.

Xbox Series X/S systems have supported Dolby Atmos' 3D audio capabilities since the consoles were released in November, while Xbox One has done so since 2017. To use Dolby Atmos through headphones on Xbox consoles or PC, you need to purchase a $15 license. If you have the new Xbox Wireless Headset (or another headset with a trial offer), you have access to Atmos on Xbox and PC at no extra cost until the end of September.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has been testing Dolby Vision HDR for gaming on Series X/S, with Alpha Insiders gaining access earlier this month. It will be available to all Series X/S owners at some point this year.

Even after the exclusivity period ends, there's no guarantee that Sony will add Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos support to PS5 games. For one thing, the console has Sony's own 3D audio engine, which is called Tempest.

Update 6/1 9:24AM ET: Noting the Xbox Wire France blog post has been deleted. Clarifying that a license payment is required to use Dolby Atmos with headphones on Xbox and PC.