Xbox Live may have brought in–game voice communication to the masses but voice chatting with your friends and opponents during a deathmatch or raid isn't anything new for PC Gamers. Some of the most popular VOIP solutions for PC gamers are Ventrilo and Teamspeak, programs you've undoubtedly heard of if you've ever needed to speak with a fellow gamer online while using a computer. Other lesser known options are Skype, which is popular for smaller and more personal discussions, and Mumble, which uses a more up-to-date codec and minimizes latency. Both of which have been steadily gaining headway in the VOIP scene. However, a few people are catching on to this new kid on the block known as Dolby Axon, which promises to revolutionize the way we talk to and interact with each other in-game.
With this new technology your voice is intended to be integrated into the game itself rather than being simply played over the top of it like with most contemporary voice communication software. For example, as your teammates move around you so will the direction their voices come from. If there is a teammate directly to your right calling out enemy fire ahead, you will hear your teammates voice to your right without any distortion to the in-game gunfire coming directly in front of you. In addition, in-game obstacles like walls and buildings will muffle and drown out the voices of your teammates. Dolby also has some innovative ideas with the technology including spy microphones, the ability to hear through walls, throwing your voice, and more.
Right now the technology is confirmed to ship with Jumpgate Evolution, an online space combat simulator, and Mission Against Terror, an online FPS title. Dolby is also hoping that console game developers will embrace the technology, which would allow console gamers to have their voices mapped to the game environment in the same ways its currently being used on the PC. The ability to keenly flow through conversation in a group and knowing where people are by the sound of their voice, coupled with direct sound to game interactions should add much to the game experience. In addition Dolby assures us that any headset and microphone combination will work perfectly with the technology and lower level system owners can breathe a sigh of relief, Dolby has considered you as well.
Read all about Dolby Axon on their site.