Of all the things Sony have revealed about the PS5 thus far, one of the console’s features that has caught the fancy of quite a developers in the industry is its custom 3D audio engine, Tempest. The potential of what it can do to enhance the aural side of the experience of playing video games is exciting, and though we won’t know for sure just how effective it is until we see (or hear, rather) it for ourselves, we can be sure that, at least on paper, it does have a lot of potential.
One developer in particular who’s impressed with the PS5’s Tempest so far is Marc-André Jutras of Cradle Games, technical director on their upcoming sci-fi Soulslike action RPG Hellpoint. Speaking to GamingBolt in a recent interview, Jutras remarked about the Tempest’s hardware-accelerated nature, saying that though 3D audio has been around for a while, the fact that the PS5 will handle it on the hardware end of things means that not only will it be much easier to implement, it will also be a huge boost to the console’s CPU.
“3D audio has been around for a long while,” Jutras said. “You could have it running on existing consoles easily… but not a lot of game do, because it pretty much takes too much CPU time. Until now, it had to run software.”
“But now it’s hardware accelerated,” he continued. “It means there’s no reason not to use it. For us, it will most likely mean PS5 might sound better with the flick of a switch. Assuming you have the audio system to handle that. Also means we could have a CPU thread freed from heavy audio computation! Even if both consoles had exactly the same CPU, having a specific task being hardware accelerated can be a huge boost for the CPU.”
There’s a lot still we don’t know about the Tempest Engine or its application (or, really, the PlayStation 5 as a whole), but it’s likely that we’ll be hearing more about it not long from now. Recent reports have suggested that Sony have a PS5 reveal event planned for early June. Read more on that through here.
Meanwhile, Cradle Games’ recently delayed Hellpoint will be out some time this year for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, ad PC.