SINGAPORE - March 9, 2005 - Creative (NASDAQ: CREAF), the creator of Sound Blaster®, the standard for PC audio and a worldwide leader in digital entertainment solutions, today announced a significant advancement in gaming audio with OpenAL 1.1, an upgrade for the free API, OpenAL (Open Audio Library). With this important upgrade, several top game development houses are implementing OpenAL with EAX® ADVANCED HD for the highest-quality and most realistic audio possible in-game.
"Creative consistently sets industry standards for audio implementation in PC and console games, and our work spearheading the OpenAL upgrade is driving the API toward becoming the definitive solution for supporting hardware-accelerated audio effects in games," said George Thorn, director of developer relations for Creative. "We can address the entire game development community - providing developers with advanced tools that allow them to deliver highly compelling audio playback on our Sound Blaster sound cards, complete with comprehensive, software-based audio mixing as a fall-back for baseline audio systems."
Streamlined Audio Functionality in OpenAL 1.1
As Creative has worked with industry partners to upgrade and enhance OpenAL, the API has increasingly become the industry standard in cross-platform and cross-operating system game development. With OpenAL, developers can easily transfer audio in a console game to the PC. The newly proposed OpenAL 1.1 specification will feature three primary improvements over the current version: audio recording functionality for use with in-game voice chat; an offset feature that will allow developers finer control over audio playback; and an additional volume fall off model that will save developers effort in customizing their audio engine. OpenAL 1.1 will be available for developers in summer 2005.
Extensive Developer Support for EAX
In addition to improving OpenAL, Creative has been working with game developers to implement the company's EAX ADVANCED HD engine. EAX ideally complements OpenAL by offering dramatically increased 3D audio performance and functionality, delivering superior high-definition audio and rich environment effects in-game. Currently, there are more than 300 PC games that have implemented a version of the EAX technology. EAX ADVANCED HD, which is available on the Sound Blaster Audigy series of products, has been implemented by developers in a large number of games, including more than 80 EAX ADVANCED HD 3.0 and 4.0 titles, such as Unreal Tournament, World of Warcraft, and the upcoming Battlefield 2.
Game developers that use the combination of OpenAL 1.1 with EAX ADVANCED HD will join development houses like Digital Illusions and Epic in utilizing the most powerful, hardware-accelerated audio API solution available for their games.
"For Battlefield 2, we need our audio engine to be fast, robust and feature-rich. OpenAL was the natural foundation for our 3D sound implementation, since it offers an elegant and flexible programming interface and easy access to EAX ADVANCED HD features," said Jonas Kjellstr÷m, Battlefield 2 Audio Programmer for Digital Illusions. "In our benchmarking we're seeing excellent performance on today's PC audio renderers. 3D positioning, reverbs and filtering are all fast and sound great, particularly on Sound Blaster cards that have EAX hardware acceleration. Furthermore, we're confident that OpenAL will maximize performance on the next generation of PC audio hardware, with its extension mechanism enabling us to quickly leverage new features as they are introduced."
"OpenAL support is at the core of Unreal Engine 3's audio engine. We have been very pleased with the results -- it's a fast, efficient API that enables us to deliver high quality 3D audio with low overhead," said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games. "Additionally, it automatically supports 3D mixing on Sound Blaster sound cards, and exposes EAX environmental audio effects, which we author in real-time in the Unreal Editor."
Creative will be speaking with developers about the new features of OpenAL 1.1, in addition to demonstrating its EAX ADVANCED HD engine, Interactive Spatial Audio Composition Tools (ISACT), and GameCODA® audio middleware solutions during the 2005 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, March 9-11, at booth 920 and expo suite ES20.
Creative (NASDAQ: CREAF) is a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products for PC users. Famous for its Sound Blaster® sound cards and for launching the multimedia revolution, Creative is now driving digital entertainment on the PC platform with products like its highly acclaimed MuVo® and Zen portable audio players. Creative's innovative hardware, proprietary technology, applications and services leverage the Internet, enabling consumers to experience high-quality digital entertainment -- anytime, anywhere.
This announcement relates to products launched in the Asia Pacific. The product names, prices and availability are subject to change without notice and may differ elsewhere in the world according to local factors and requirements. Sound Blaster, MuVo, EAX, ADVANCED HD and GameCODA are trademarks of Creative Technology Ltd. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.