Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox One will ship today without support for Dolby Digital audio technology.
The news about the missing feature was posted by the company’s Albert Penello, director of product planning at Microsoft, in a NeoGAF post yesterday; where he said that the feature would be released sometime later. He however, didn’t mention as to when and it’s possible that this could be stretched to next year.
“Dolby Digital is coming post launch,” Penello wrote. “This was a SW scheduling issue pure and simple, and I know people are disappointed, but we will have it.
Dolby Digital technology gives users a more high-fidelity sound compared to listening to audio without it. While normal users won’t really notice that much of a difference, hard-core enthusiasts who have a battle station all laid out in preparation for the Xbox One would perhaps be disappointed. However, those having a HDMI receiver should be fine.
“We pass the uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 through HDMI as well as DTS,” he said. “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.”
Additionally the console will ship with HDMI audio in beta form. Those planning to use it for surround sound will first have to enable the “Surround Sound (BETA)” feature. According to Penello, Microsoft disabled the feature as a default because it “found some inconsistencies in [set-top boxes] during testing and decided to disable it by default to insure a good initial setup experience for people.”