Immersive audio is about to become an integral part of the evolution of gaming. Previously developers and players have been more concerned with graphics. But with object-based surround sound technologies like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X pioneering 3D audio for the world of film. It’s a no brainer that it be included in the next-gen of gaming. The level of realism this technology brings to gaming is truly mind-blowing, especially when used in conjunction with VR.
The PS5 is almost here and as we previously reported there is a lot of interesting upgrades in store for the next-gen console. This includes 3D audio.
In April 2019, Mark Cerny the lead architect for the PS5 did an interview with Wired and most of the information that is known about the console has be slowly drip-fed from this interview as time has progressed. 3D audio is as the name suggests designed to add dimensions to the audio encompassed in your gaming experience. The aim is to immerse the user in the game with sounds coming at the player from all directions.
It’s currently unknown how 3D audio will work. But Cerny did say that it won’t require any external hardware to operate. The technology is already included within the PS5. The audio chip is part of the third-generation AMD Ryzen chipset that is powering the PlayStation 5.
3D Audio As We Know It
The PS5 audio specs haven’t been released to the public yet. Butt the 3D audio chip Cerny mentioned could possibly deliver something similar to Dolby Atmos.
Dolby Atmos is an audio format that gives users the ability to experience sound in a 360-degree sphere (i.e. 3D sound). Making it possible to replicate how whatever you’re seeing on the screen would sound in real-life. For example, if a sniper takes a shot from the top of a roof in a distance the sound will be delivered in a way that replicates this.
This is not to be confused with standard surround sound where volume is increased as you approach the apparent source of the sound. 3D sound provides depth to the sound, behaving in a way akin to the way that real sounds do. Creating an effect that leads your brain into thinking that the sounds are coming from a specific spot in the 3D sphere.
Sound designers can program sounds and effects to take place in different positions in the virtual sphere. Then to carry this out, these sounds will correspond with specific speakers placed around the room. The result of this is when you’re using Dolby Atmos devices for your viewing pleasure you can hear the effects move around exactly how the sound engineers intended.
Of course, the problem with this being that most of us don’t have living rooms with speakers dotted all over the place. Thankfully, Mike Cerny said the optimal way to experience PS5 3D audio is through headphones. Which doesn’t take nearly as much effort to set up.
If you’re wondering what 3D audio sounds like plug some headphones in, close your eyes and listen to the video below.
What Does This Mean For The PS5?
PS5 audio capabilities combined with all the other awesome features is almost sure to drive the price higher.
Analysts say that all the impressive next-gen improvements are going to raise the price of both the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X. So far the predictions are that we will be paying in between $500 (£386.31) and $600 (£463.57). Which is definitely a pretty penny big enough to weigh down the Christmas list.
With 2020 full effect the next-gen geared up for a holiday release we don’t have much time left to wait.