Dolby Digital 5.1 sound with the X-Box
As announced today by Dolby, Microsoft's upcoming X-Box game console will be able to conjure up Dolby Digital 5.1 sound in real time in your living room. So far, this sound has only been used in cut scenes, while the normal game is still played via stereo sound, which may be encoded in Dolby Surround. For the PC there are already some games on the market that offer this and around 30 titles have been announced for the Playstation 2.
Dolby and Microsoft now want to put an end to this and always output the appropriate Dolby Digital 5.1 tones in real time in the game scenes instead of playing ready-made 5.1 titles, such as in cutscenes. To achieve this, the console will have a Dolby licensed encoder. This should not impair the game performance, as it is built directly into the X-Box Media Communications processor. The X-Box would be the first game console capable of real-time encoding. Unfortunately, you only have to buy the home theater system in order to enjoy the sound. A digital surround amplifier/receiver is required to decode the signal from the console.