updated 02:35 pm EST, Thu March 11, 2010
Dolby bringing Axon 3D support to Mac, consoles
At the Game Developer's Conference, Dolby said it will make its Axon 3D voice chat technology available for gamers on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Mac platforms. Thus far, only PC users could benefit from the technology, and the software development kit (SDK) will be made available to game developers in April. It is currently undergoing beta testing with several unnamed software companies.
The technology was out for a year for PC gamers, and adds three-dimensional depth in multiplayer games, giving gamers a more realistic idea of where other players are relative to them, whether using headphones or a 5.1- or 7.1-channel speaker setup. While future games for the PS3, Xbox 360 and Mac will support the Axon 3D tech, older games can be made to support it with a software update, says Dolby's director of marketing Matt Tullis.
Other benefits of Axon 3D are said to include volume normalization, echo reduction, and background noise reduction. Other players behind walls or closed doors will also sound different.
The Nintendo Wii has not been added to the list because it does not support Dolby Digital but instead relies on Dolby's Pro-Logic II decoding, which takes stereo and samples it into surround sound. Also, only eight Wii games use voice chat. [via CNET]