Sony has released an update for the PlayStation 5 that makes its Tempest 3D AudioTech work with “Dolby Atmos-enabled HDMI devices” like soundbars, TVs, and home theater systems.
Before the update, you couldn't play games with Dolby Atmos sound, but you could play Blu-ray discs with Atmos music. Sony says that the update lets Tempest 3D AudioTech now send realistic sounds, including those with overhead channels, to HDMI-enabled devices like the best Dolby Atmos soundbars or a home theater system.
On the PlayStation Blog, information about the update and a number of new features and changes was shared. But the addition of Atmos is the one that caught my attention the most, because the PS5's lack of support for the format seemed like a big mistake for a platform that is used with the best 4K TVs and soundbars.
After updating, PS5 players need to follow the set-up directions on the PlayStation Blog to use the Atmos feature. Go to [Settings] > [Sound] > [Audio Output] > [Audio Format (Priority)], and then choose [Dolby Atmos].
Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support on the Xbox Series X has been a big difference between it and the PS5. It makes perfect sense to have these features, since many owners use their systems not only to play games, but also to watch 4K Blu-ray discs and stream.
Sony left out support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision HDR on the PS5, and it's not clear why. However, the Atmos problem has now been fixed. Well, not all of it.
Future games with native Dolby Atmos audio should work fine on the PS5, but older games will need to be “patched” with a new Atmos soundtrack. Games that use Sony's Tempest 3D AudioTech will have an automatic Atmos conversion that, while not the same as an original Atmos mix, will at least use a system's height speakers.
Dolby Atmos support will also be added to streaming apps like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Max on the PS5 platform, which is something I expect and that Sony has already said will happen.
Streaming users usually have to pay extra for features like Atmos, so it makes sense that they would want that feature on their streaming device. It will be up to each streaming service to update their PS5 so that it works with Atmos, but I think most will do so fast.
Since the PS5 is getting better, you might expect it to get Dolby Vision HDR support as well. But Sony's release doesn't say anything about Dolby Vision, which is a feature that should have been included from the start since Sony's own TVs, soundbars, and A/V players support it.
When will the PS5 get Dolby Vision? I would think that was just as important for the system to have as the Atmos feature, because people also use their PS5 to stream movies and watch movies on 4K Blu-ray discs. Dolby Vision HDR is a format that is often used for 4K Blu-ray discs, and many of the best streaming services offer it.
But Sony hasn't said anything about Dolby Vision support since the PS5 came out a few years ago. It's clear that it's not important to them, which is why I'm glad I got an Xbox Series X instead. Stay tuned with Crossover99 for tech-related articles.