GDC: Dolby unveils Axon for consoles

GDC: Dolby unveils Axon for consoles

By Michael French in San Francisco

March 11th 2010 at 5:00PM

Surround sound voice chat tools available for 360, PS3 and Mac

A new SDK that allows developers to integrate surround sound voice chat into console games was unveiled by Dolby at GDC today.

The firm's Axon tool is now officially available for 360 and PS3 following a beta launch last year, plus Mac.

Axon's latest version is expected to go live next month.

Dolby's game tech is already integrated a number of games, including Dragon Nest by Nexon, ZT Online from Giant Interactive, Mission Against Terror by Kingsoft and NetDevil's Jumpgate Evolution.

The renowned audio firm says Axon goes beyond the basic libraries that are part of the console SDKs by offering: improved audio chain processing (noise suppression, echo suppression) for clear voice communication; Surround sound voice chat over stereo headsets, stereo speakers, and 5.1 playback systems to deliver realistic and exciting game-communication with teammates; and compatibility with any stereo headset, enabling gamers to experience clear, crisp voice quality without specialized equipment.

Dolby also says Axon helps publishers address scale in massively multiplayer games, requiring bandwidth as low as 16 kbps per player for even the more complex surround sound in-game.

“The game development community responded very enthusiastically to Dolby Axon because it helps them to reimagine the voice chat feature into an engaging and dynamic element of game play,” said Matt Tullis, marketing director for games at Dolby Labs.

“In addition to this, the ability to use surround sound voice and communication provides gamers with a competitive edge.”