CES 2008: Neural-THX Surround

by: Dan -
More On: CES 2008
I stopped by the THX booth to get a demo of what is being called Neural-THX Surround. The technology allows games to incorporate a 7.1 surround, utilizing Home Theater receivers that have the Neural Surround incorporated into them.

The first game that will use the technology is Prototype from Sierra Entertainment. During the demonstration, they used a very rough build of the game on the Xbox 360 (essentially four like rooms with a central orb in each representing elements such as fire and water) to show off how seamlessly the audio moves across the sound field. The fire and water sounds from each orb moved smoothly across the sound field in relation to the first-person perspective and was quite impressive.

Ideally, the Neural Surround could someday become the standard for Gaming Audio, much like THX has helped set benchmarks in the film industry. I was also told that around 70% of all new receivers will have the Neural-THX Surround built into them. See the press release after the jump for complete details on Neural-THX Surround and Prototype.

New Audio Technology Takes Next Generation Titles from 5.1 to 7.1 Surround

CES 2008, Las Vegas, January 7, 2008 – THX Ltd., Neural Audio Corp. and Sierra Entertainment, a division
of Vivendi Games, today announced that Prototype, the first-person shooter (FPS) for next-gen gaming
consoles and PCs, will be the world’s first video game to feature Neural-THX® Surround. The Neural-THX
Surround technology enabled Radical Entertainment, an internal development studio of Sierra
Entertainment, to extend the surround sound experience from 5.1 to 7.1, allowing gamers with Neural-THX
Surround capabilities on their audio-video receiver to play Prototype in 7.1 discrete surround sound.
Prototype will go on sale in the U.S. in fall 2008.

Expanding the game audio experience to 7.1 allows gamers to add two speakers to the rear of their home
theaters or living rooms, creating a 360-degree listening environment. When playing Prototype in Neural-
THX Surround, sound elements will be placed in the front, side and behind the gamer, enabling them to
react to audio cues all around them. The result is a more interactive and immersive game-play experience.
A demonstration of the Neural-THX Surround 7.1 game experience will be available in the THX booth
(South Hall: 20307) during CES 2008.

“Game developers and consumers alike are recognizing the importance of accurate surround sound to the
overall game experience, and the move to 7.1 surround represents a natural evolution of game audio,” said
Dr. Mark Tuffy, games director at THX Ltd. “We are thrilled to partner with Sierra and Radical Entertainment
to introduce Neural-THX Surround for games. The Prototype storyline and use of surround sound elements
makes it the perfect fit for 7.1 game-play.”

A recent survey of U.S. gamers by Nielsen NRG revealed that more than 48 percent of Xbox 360 and 54
percent of PS3 consoles are connected to multi-channel, home theater systems. In fact, more gaming
consoles are now connected to multi-channel audio systems than television speakers, indicating that
surround sound has grown in importance among the gaming community.

For AV receiver and loudspeaker manufacturers, Neural-THX Surround, offers a valuable new feature to
attract and grow the next generation of home theater enthusiasts. Neural-THX Surround is being integrated
in an estimated 70 percent of new audio-video receivers, from companies such as Sony, Pioneer, Yamaha,
Onkyo, Integra, Denon, Marantz, Inkel and Sherwood. Neural-THX Surround AV receivers are being
shipped in more than 25 countries worldwide.

THX Ltd. was founded by filmmaker George Lucas to improve the way movie audiences experience the
sights and sounds of feature films on the silver screen. The goal, then and now, is to continually improve the
entertainment experience through strict engineering performance standards, innovative product designs and
breakthrough technologies. Leading companies from around the globe count on THX to help them create
better, more innovative products and services. For more information, visit www.thx.com.
About Sierra Entertainment

Sierra Entertainment (www.sierra.com), a global division of Vivendi Games, creates and publishes
innovative, high-quality interactive entertainment for videogame systems, handheld gaming devices
and personal computers. Sierra Entertainment features a portfolio of titles based on original IP and
popular licenses from industry-leading content partners, including F.E.A.R. ™, Crash Bandicoot®,
Spyro The Dragon®, Scarface™ and Ice Age™. Sierra Entertainment has four integrated internal
studios providing creative talents and development capabilities across multiple gaming genres:
High Moon Studios in San Diego, CA; Massive Entertainment in Malmo, Sweden; Radical
Entertainment in Vancouver, B.C.; and Swordfish Studios in Birmingham and Manchester, England.

Neural Audio, through its Neural-THX® Surround technology and unique audio optimization technologies,
has become the key enabler in the delivery of high quality content for the TV, radio, game, Internet, home
theatre and mobile markets. Key broadcast partners and customers such as XM Satellite Radio, Yamaha
Corporation, Sony Corporation, Pioneer Electronics, Onkyo Corporation, Denon Electronics, Marantz
America and Harris Corporation have adopted Neural Audio technologies to provide the best quality audio
available today to their customers. For more information, please visit www.neuralaudio.com, or

THX is a trademark of THX Ltd., which may be registered in some jurisdictions. All rights reserved.
Neural Surround is a trademark owned by Neural Audio Corporation.
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