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How Dolby Atmos gaming will work on PlayStation 5

04 Aug 2023 | Rasmus Larsen |

PlayStation 5 will support both Dolby Atmos conversion and native Dolby Atmos gaming, according to Sony's sound design team.

Almost three years post-launch and after first rejecting Dolby's object-based audio technology, PlayStation 5 is getting Dolby Atmos support for gaming and streaming media (apps will have to be updated).

Sony announced that Dolby Atmos will be added to PS5 with the next major update but it has not said when the system update will be released for the public.

How Atmos gaming will work on PS5

Since the announcement there has been some confusion amongst PS5 owners as to how Dolby Atmos will work on PS5 as opposed to Xbox that has supported native Dolby Atmos gaming for a while. There are two ways on PS5. - "It’s both. There is an automatic Atmos mix for all existing games that support 3D Audio. For a bespoke Atmos mix made by the sound team, games would need a patch," Loïc Couthier, Senior Sound Design Supervisor at PlayStation, explained after being asked if Atmos works automatically or if it needs to be patched for each individual game. In other words:
  1. For games that currently utilize 'Tempest 3D', which is Sony's 3D audio technology, PlayStation 5 will automatically convert game audio to Dolby Atmos for output to a Dolby Atmos speaker system or soundbar. Games with Tempest 3D include Gran Turismo 7, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, No Man’s Sky, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Horizon: Forbidden West, and a handful more.
  2. Game developers will also be able to create a dedicated Dolby Atmos mix – like how they do for Xbox. In this case, existing games must be patched to add Dolby Atmos while new PS5 games can be built and released with Dolby Atmos from the start.
It remains to be heard how well the Tempest-to-Atmos conversion will work but it is nevertheless good news for PS5 gamers that the PlayStation 5 console will have a compatibility mode in addition to native support for Dolby Atmos. Hopefully Dolby Atmos will work better on PS5 than Sony's Tempest 3D which has been a disappointing experience so far. Dare we say that Sony is even in some capacity admitting defeat in the battle between Tempest 3D and Dolby Atmos?

PlayStation 5 Dolby Atmos

The new Dolby Atmos option in the PS5 settings menu

- Source: Loïc Couthier

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