The Xbox One will ship without some audio features, and some still in "beta," according to multiple sources (as reported by Polygon). The Xbox One will ship without support for Dolby encoding, according to what Microsoft director of product planning Albert Penello posted on a NeoGAF thread today.
"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."
"Anyone with an HDMI receiver should be fine, as we pass the uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 [audio signals] through HDMI as well as DTS. 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."
Peripheral maker Astro Gaming said on its Facebook page that it will support "simulated surround sound" on the Xbox One at its launch tomorrow. The Xbox One will also ship with HDMI audio in support in beta form. Those planning to use cable boxes and other devices that use HDMI audio will need enable the "Surround Sound (BETA)" feature. Steps to do that can be found at the official Xbox Support site.
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."
Marc Whitten, corporate vice president at Xbox, confirmed on Twitter that the feature can be toggled on at launch.