While Sony have been unusually quiet about the PlayStation 5, Microsoft have been much more vocal about the Xbox Series X and what we can expect to see from their console when it launches later this year (if it launches later this year). One of the things that have been revealed so far that the game is going to have a dedicated audio chip.
That’s unprecedented in the field of the console market. While up until this point, developers have had to use the same pool of resources and power while working with all aspects of a game, from programming to visuals to, of course, audio, having a dedicated audio chip means not just better audio in games – what with sound engineers having a chip all of their own to work with – but it also means that there’s extra space in the GPU for all the other stuff.
And Ninja Theory are extremely excited about that. Speaking with VGC, Ninja Theory senior sound designer Daniele Galante said that the studio’s audio team is very excited about not having to “fight with programmers and artists for memory.”
“It’s extremely exciting,” said Galante. “We’re going to have a dedicated chip to work with audio, which means we finally won’t have to fight with programmers and artists for memory and CPU power.
“We take for granted that graphics are powered by their own video cards. But in audio, we haven’t had anything like that. Now we have some power dedicated to us.”
“I really like how Microsoft is giving us more tools to improve the sound and to be more creative,” he continued. “Because at the end of the day it’s not a matter of, ‘we want more memory because we are more cool’, we just want to be able to do our jobs without thinking about limitations.
“Making games always has you thinking about technical limitations. Eventually these limitations become less and less the more you evolve with new consoles, but at the same time it’s always a constant thing: These are the maximum number of voices we can have, because otherwise the game is going to lag.”
It should be interesting to see what all developers do with a dedicated audio chip, but Ninja Theory in particular could do some really great things for Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2. Audio and sound design were an integral part of Hellbkade: Sanua’s Sacrifice, and a dedicated audio chip might prove to be a huge boon for the sequel.
Not too long ago, Microsoft revealed plenty of other new details on Xbox Series X as well, including a 12 teraflops GPU, the ability to suspend and resume multiple games instantly, a Play Anywhere-style feature called Smart Delivery, and more. Read more on that through here.