Microsoft will be making sound a big feature in the new Xbox Series X, with "dedicated hardware acceleration" reportedly a part of the next gen console. Yes, we know that is probably not going to make people more interested in Xbox Series X than they are in PS5 on its own, but audio is an important part of gaming and watching movies and TV. And listening to music, come to that.
The titbit comes from the description for a GDC 2020 (opens in new tab) panel entitled "Building Audio Gateways Into Immersive Worlds With Spatial Sound (Presented by Microsoft)" and it sounds like we'll be getting either a sound card stuffed into the innards of the new console, or a custom solution that incorporates an audio unit of sorts into its processor.
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"Learn from the audio designers of Borderlands 3 and Gears of War 5 around how a collaboration between Microsoft, Dolby, and our middleware partners kicked off a revolution with spatial sound that turns any pair of headphones into a multi-dimensional gateway to another world," reads the summary of the event.
"Attendees will dive deep into the audio design pipeline (Project Acoustics) and the relationship to dedicated hardware-acceleration on newer generation Xbox consoles."
Sony has already teased its plans for the PS5 and its dynamic 3D audio that will be achieved by a custom 3D audio unit on board its AMD processor. Last year (opens in new tab), PlayStation boss Mark Cerny said, "As a gamer it's been a little bit of a frustration that audio did not change too much between PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
"With the next console the dream is to show how dramatically different the audio experience can be when we apply significant amounts of hardware horsepower to it."
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Apparently, Microsoft feels the same way. Its current gen and older consoles don't utilise dedicated hardware for sound, so the Xbox Series X will be the next step in sound evolution for the company.
There are no other details to go on for now, so we don't know how it'll hold up to Sony's efforts. In the meantime, you may want to invest in a decent gaming headset (opens in new tab) or new soundbar (opens in new tab) so your ears are ready for a joyous audio assault.