Samsung’s forgotten HDR gaming format is finally here

A man sits at a desk, playing The First Descendant. The man is using a Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 monitor.

Better late than never. Samsung has just announced that The First Descendant will be the inaugural title to support the HDR10+ Gaming standard. Although it’s been two years since Samsung initially introduced HDR10+ Gaming, and there are already devices that support it, it took this long for the first HDR10+ game to arrive. Here’s what we know.

The First Descendant is going to be a free-to-play game. Developed by Nexon, this is a third-person shooter that’s set to begin its open beta on September 19. While the HDR10+ standard isn’t strictly a PC feature, it’s looking like the game will support it on PCs first, or maybe even exclusively. The game is going to be available on a wide range of platforms, though, including the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S, so it’s possible that these consoles might also expand to allow HDR10+ at some point.

What can switching to HDR10+ do for your gaming experience? For starters, the new standard, when supported by the game that you’re playing and the screen you’re playing on, will save you a lot of tedious manual adjusting. It lets games automatically adjust the colors and brightness based on the monitor that you’re using. The expected result is that you’ll be seeing improved shadows and highlights without needing to fiddle with that setting yourself.

HDR10+ Gaming is compatible with variable refresh rate (VRR) and Samsung advertises it as a low-latency option compared to the regular HDR10 standard. All in all, it could be a good option for gamers, although it’s hard to say how big a deal it’s going to be. Outside of gaming, the HDR10+ standard brings tangible improvements, such as increasing the maximum brightness to 4,000 nits in compatible TVs.

Of course, not every device and piece of hardware supports HDR10+. Nvidia’s best graphics cards do, including its entire RTX lineup, as well as the GTX 16-series cards. As far as displays go, Samsung notes in its announcement that its latest gaming monitors, starting from the Odyssey 7 and up, are ready for HDR10+. Several Samsung TVs can run it as well, including Q70-series and above.

The adoption of HDR10+ might take some time, seeing as this is the first title to support it after nearly two years. It’s hard to imagine it ever beating the widespread Dolby Vision standard in the TV world, but Samsung is clearly trying to make it happen.

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