Microsoft has begun to add content that supports 4K resolution and high dynamic range (HDR) color to its digital video store on Xbox devices, the company confirmed to Polygon.
The store — which was formerly known as Xbox Video but is now called simply Movies & TV — does offer some 4K content already, mostly in the way of nonfiction extreme sports films. But The Lego Batman Movie, which hit digital video platforms earlier this month, is the first major motion picture to be available in 4K ultra HD on Microsoft’s store. And it appears to be the first Movies & TV title of any kind to support HDR.
The Lego Batman Movie is only available to buy, not rent, and even its non-4K option is more expensive than other movies in the store. New releases, such as Get Out and John Wick: Chapter 2, typically cost $14.99 for either standard definition or 1080p high definition. But an HD copy of The Lego Batman Movie currently costs $19.99, whether you get it with or without bonus features, while an SD copy is available for $14.99. And the 4K version goes for $29.99 — matching the retail price of the UHD Blu-ray of the film, which isn’t hitting stores until June 13.
To watch The Lego Batman Movie in 4K, you’ll need an Xbox One S that’s connected to a 4K television via an HDMI 2.0a port that supports HDCP 2.2. Of course, the TV must also support the HDR10 standard in order for you to be able to watch the film in HDR color. Additionally, the console’s internet bandwidth must be at least 20 Mbps downstream. It’s unclear if Movies & TV only allows for 4K HDR playback on the Xbox One S, as opposed to, say, a Windows 10 PC that’s hooked up to a 4K monitor. We’ve asked Microsoft for clarification, and we’ll update this article with any information we receive.
For now, The Lego Batman Movie is the only title to support HDR in the Movies & TV store; a Microsoft representative told Polygon that more will be released “in the months to come.” It’s surprising that it took this long for Microsoft to begin adding 4K HDR content to the store, since those formats were two of the main selling points behind the Xbox One S, which debuted last August. The console includes a 4K Blu-ray drive, and supports 4K HDR content through streaming apps such as Netflix and Amazon Video. But we’re still in an era where titles in both 4K and HDR are scarce — both because the actual selection of them is limited, and because there aren’t many places to find that content.
If you’re considering an imminent Xbox One S purchase, Microsoft has partnered with GameStop and Warner Bros. for a special offer. From May 24-30, anybody who buys the console from GameStop in the U.S. will receive a Movies & TV code for a free copy of The Lego Batman Movie in 4K and HDR.