Xbox Series X packs dedicated audio hardware acceleration

Microsoft dials audio up to 11 on the Xbox Series X with dedicated hardware-accelerated audio.

Published Feb 19, 2020 10:01 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:44 AM CST
1 minute & 34 seconds read time

Microsoft will be packing in dedicated hardware-accelerated audio in its next-gen Xbox Series X console, which will add another layer of next-gen goodness onto its console.

Xbox Series X packs dedicated audio hardware acceleration |

It reminds me of the big push Microsoft did with its original Xbox, adding in Dolby Digital 5.1 technology which was a huge leap in audio back in the day. The new hardware-accelerated audio technology was confirmed when Microsoft teased its GDC 2020 presentation titled 'Building Audio Gateways Into Immersive Worlds With Spatial Sound'.

Microsoft explains: "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. Attendees will dive deep into the audio design pipeline (Project Acoustics) and the relationship to dedicated hardware-acceleration on newer generation Xbox consoles".

We know that Sony's next-gen PlayStation 5 will be getting an injection of next-gen audio, with PlayStation architect Mark Cerny confirming during his Wired interview that Sony is tapping a custom built AMD audio solution for 3D audio in the PlayStation 5.

Cerny explained: "If you wanted to run tests to see if the player can hear certain audio sources or if the enemies can hear the players' footsteps, ray tracing is useful for that. It's all the same thing as taking a ray through the environment".

He added: "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".

It's not just graphics that the next-gen consoles will take to the next level, but also audio by the looks of things -- and that excites me just as much.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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