Red Dead Redemption 2 Isn't 'True' HDR, Says Report

Red Dead Redemption 2 Isn't 'True' HDR, Says Report

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Red Dead Redemption 2 released this week to nearly universal acclaim, with its presentation receiving particularly high marks. However, while it’s an undeniably pretty game, new reports suggest that what Rockstar claims to be High Dynamic Range (HDR) may not actually be true HDR at all.

Eurogamer first reported that on all versions of the game, Red Dead Redemption 2 outputs what is essentially scaled-up Standard Dynamic Range (SDR), which doesn’t offer nearly the same contrast, color range or luminance of a genuine HDR image. In lieu of in-depth technical jargon, the report provides screenshots from RDR2 demonstrating the limits of a game rendered in SDR. The report also suggests that Red Dead Redemption 2 would be far from the first title to exploit what Eurogamer labels “fake HDR,” citing the Xbox One port of Nier Automata as another example.

The report isn’t scathing, but the implications within likely won’t sit well with tech-savvy gamers. The alleged trick used by Rockstar to market the game as implementing HDR causes pure whites to appear extremely bright, which has the potential to accelerate screen burn on susceptible displays. Ironically, the report argues that because HDR displays adjust settings to optimize true HDR, the alleged ‘fake’ HDR output can actually result in an image that appears slightly dimmer than it would have without HDR settings activated. It appears that these effects will depend on the platform and display being used to play the game.

Red Dead Redemption 2 screenshot

Whether or not Rockstar is guilty of these injustices isn’t clear at this point, but if players want to make sure they’re getting the best visual experience possible, it sounds like the Xbox One X is the way to go. According to in-depth testing of each platform, the latest Xbox console outperformed the rest, running flawlessly in native 4k resolution. The PS4 Pro trailed closely behind, followed by the earlier versions of each console.

Whether or not Red Dead Redemption 2 displays images in true HDR is up for debate, and it should be interesting to see how Rockstar responds to Eurogamer’s report, but what can’t be argued is that the game boasts a massive map. For reference, here’s how long it’ll take to move from one end of the map to the other.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is available now for PS4 and Xbox One.

Source: Eurogamer