NieR: Automata uses 'fake' HDR on Xbox One


At E3 2018 when Microsoft announced that the former PS4 and PC exclusive, NieR: Automata, was releasing on Xbox One, fans of the series rejoiced. Of course, Microsoft had to punt that the game is "XBOX ONE X ENHANCED WITH HDR" (said in a deep dramatic voice) as they usually do. Well, it seems that the game was never meant to support HDR as a report from ResetEra claims that the use of the tech in the game is completely fake and makes the game even worse. 

HDR makes use of 120% colour gamut which always results in more colour on the screen at any given time. This means that games with HDR are meant to look more vibrant. Some games do it well and some not so well but this example of NieR: Automata is the worst case in gaming thus far. 

According to EvilBoris, the use of HDR on NieR: Automata barely hit 150nits of brightness when enabled. In terms of contrast, nothing came close to 600nits except for one or two pixels in specific areas. When HDR is then turned off, the game actually looks better. According to the tests, the game makes use of 8bit colour in SDR and a measly 10bit colour in HDR which means nothing really changes at all and there is actually a decrease in quality when the signal is sent to a TV as it does not know how to handle it. 

The report claims that it is a disappointing use of the technology and feels like more of an effort to deceive gamers than actually badly implemented use of the tech. 

It's super disappointing that a developer has done this and we should expect better. HDR is already a total mess of a format with such varied support and capability. It's clearly possible at this point in time with such a new technology for a developer to misunderstand and produce poor results, but this feels more like an effort to deceive.

You can read the whole breakdown and report on this on the site but all we hope is that Square Enix fixes the game's HDR soon, if it can even be done.

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