Intel is to replace the PC97 audio standard with a newer ‘much more robust and higher frequency’ standard, THX Ultra2 Certification, aimed at dealing with the diversity in end user audio equipment. This is a ‘good thing’, says the INQ, especially THX ‘Games Mode’ which will ensure the integrity of video game content from creation through to game play:
All the hardware in the world does no good if a game will only put out stereo sound, and 7.1 channel surround sounds pretty bad when played through $4.99 speakers, even with fresh batteries. Programmers also waste their time to place realistic footsteps sneaking up behind you if your speakers are misplaced. Well, THX is trying to fix some of these problems. On January 8th, it announced THX “Games Mode”. This new mode is part of the THX Ultra2 Certification, and theoretically, all new THX certified equipment should support it. In addition, Electronic Arts is THX certifying games. A few months ago, it announced a bunch of titles would be certified, and most likely all of the new games will be certified in this manner.
I want to be surrounded by walls of good sound
THX Ultra certified half tones
THX Games Mode was designed to accurately reproduce and distribute video game sound content the way it was intended by game developers in their audio mixing studios. It uses THX-patented, four-speaker surround sound technology called Adaptive Speaker Array (ASA) to place point sources anywhere in the surround sound field. This puts the user in the middle of the game, adding a new dimension to the game playing experience. THX Games Mode will optimize action sequences, such as car chases, sports and battle scenes, as well as enhance subtle environmental audio details that are often lost during traditional playback.
Published in: Multimedia on 2004-01-19