The Xbox One will add support for Dolby 5.1 and 7.1 digital audio through a post-launch patch, director of product planning Albert Penello said today.
“Dolby Digital is coming post launch,” Penello said on NeoGAF. “This was a [software] scheduling issue pure and simple, and I know people are disappointed, but we will have it.”
No timetable for the patch’s release was provided. This means that until the Xbox One audio patch is released, Microsoft’s next-generation system is not capable of doing optical audio on the level of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or PlayStation 4.
Penello explained that anyone with an HDMI receiver “should be fine” because uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 audio is passed through HDMI and DTS.
“Even if you have a Dolby only HDMI receiver (which I’m not sure exists), you will still get 5.1 or 7.1 sound since those receivers should accept uncompressed surround,” he said.
For Dolby-only headsets, Penello said he understands that these should work on Xbox One from launch, though users will only receive stereo audio.
“I have not tested this myself, but I’m told it works. Regardless, I understand this is an inconvenience, but again we’re going to have Dolby coming,” he said.
Headset company Astro, which said previously that its products would work without issue on Xbox One, released a statement on the matter following Microsoft’s announcement, confirming that because the Xbox One will not have Dolby support at launch, there will be ramifications for Astro products.
“While our products do not process DTS signals, we do have on-board Dolby encoding in both our A50 Wireless Transmitter as well as our Wired MixAmp Pro. An Xbox One gamer will need to select Stereo output for game audio, but our MixAmps will process that stereo signal with Dolby ProLogic II and encode it with Dolby Headphone,” the company said.