HDR gaming is now fairly widespread, given the availability of dozens of compatible displays between TVs and monitors. However, it is not uncommon to see wildly divisive opinions on the quality of the experience. That's due to a number of reasons: for instance, the fact that HDR displays have very different specifications in terms of peak brightness (measured in nits) and the end result can, therefore, vary a lot.
A couple of days ago, a volunteer group called HDR Gaming Interest Group hosted a workshop in Vancouver to present a series of best practice recommendations to optimize HDR gaming content. The group already includes most of the biggest companies in gaming and TV manufacturing, which is promising for the ambitious goal they're trying to achieve: improving consumer gaming experiences in HDR.
- Activision Publishing, Inc.
- ASUSTek Computer Inc.
- CAPCOM Co., Ltd.
- Electronic Arts
- Epic Games
- HP Inc.
- Koninklijke Philips N.V.
- LG Electronics, Inc.
- Microsoft Corporation
- Panasonic Corporation
- SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS Co., Ltd.
- Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Sony Visual Products
- SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.
- Toshiba Visual Solutions Corporation
- Vicarious Visions
- VIZIO, Inc.
- WB Games
The document with the best practice recommendations of the HDR Gaming Interest Group can be found here. Below we've transcribed the guiding principles.
1. Acknowledge difference
There is a wide variance in how HDR content is processed in HDR displays, and the assumption that “displays perform exactly the same” cannot be taken. Each display’s HDR capability should be utilized to the full extent.
2. Consistent and fair gameplay
Game design creative intent (e.g. a zombie appearing from the dark, an enemy shooter silhouetted in blinding light) needs to appear the same for consistent game playability, regardless of display performance difference.
3. Forward compatible
The existing HDR game experience should not be deteriorated, but stable or even enhanced with the improvement of future HDR display performance.
4. Easy to use and practical for developers and consumers
Practical and easy-to-use means must be prepared for game developers and consumers. For example, any processing should not consume resources that may affect real-time processing, and complicated manual setup operations (e.g. in-game calibration) should be avoided.