One of the things that frustrated system architect Mark Cerny during the transition from the PlayStation 3 to the PlayStation 4 is how audio didn’t really change. It’s one of the things he’s trying to rectify with the PlayStation 5, and Sony’s new console will come with a custom chip designed specifically to deliver 3D audio. “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,” he told Wired.
The platform holder has already dabbled in this kind of technology with PlayStation VR, but it sounds like the company wants to bring 3D audio to all experiences. The console will process audio in such a way that you’ll be able to determine whether sound is coming from above you or behind you, all leading to a greater sense of “presence” in the game world itself. It’ll all work through standard speakers and surround sound, but you’ll get the best experience through headphones.
This is all very exciting to us. The way sound is processed in PSVR is a game changer, and it’s great to see Sony investing extra effort into this often overlooked area. If you play a game like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, for example, you can really get a feel for the difference 3D audio makes to an experience. We can’t wait to sample all this first-hand on the PS5 when it launches next year.