PlayStation 5’s 3D Audio And What Its Implications on Future Games

PlayStation 5 3D audio is a mystery feature we don’t know much about. Sony claims it will add to the immersion of next-generation console games. But what is it exactly? And how will it affect our experience?

Claims of immersion are nothing new from creators. We have heard countless times over the year about revolutionary immersion features. While most claims fall flat on the face, the immersive audio actually has some legitimacy behind it.

A few months ago, Sony’s Mark Cerny talked about PlayStation 5 specs. His interview with Wired is the first time we heard about the 3D Audio feature of Sony’s next-generation console. Cerny claimed PS5 3D Audio “makes you feel more immersed in the game.” Apparently Sounds come from behind, above, and from the side.

What’s interesting is that such a feature is usually exclusive for headphones. But Sony is working on a technology that can generate 3D audio through a TV as well. Of course, Cerny still emphasized the use of headphones for the best audio experience on PS5.

Moreover, you won’t require any external hardware such as a 3D card. The 3D audio chip is built into AMD’s Ryzen processor that’s used in PlayStation 5.

Explaining Sony’s PS5 3D Audio Technology

One of the best 3D Audio experiences is offered by Dobly Atmos. However, users require external hardware to make it work. From what we know about Sony’s 3D Audio technology, it only works with compatible headphones right now and requires game developers to spend extra time designing 3D audio.

The sounds designers would need to place individual instrument and effect within a virtual sphere.

PS5 3D audio technology is expected to work similarly to Creative’s SXFI technology. The creators use a holographic algorithm to replicate immersive soundstage.

What’s interesting about this technology is that you might not need compatible headphones at all.  The current state of 3D audio requires compatible hardware but Sony’s tech is different. The company has created an amp that transforms any decent headphone into 3D audio compatible hardware.

Why All PS5 Games Can’t Have 3D Audio?

PS5 is releasing next year but PS4 and PS4 Pro won’t die for another couple of years at least. Most of the games released on PlayStation 5 are going to be cross-platform. It is difficult to ensure all PS5 games feature 3D audio and for developers to create soundtracks and effects in such a manner.

PlayStation 5 will feature backward compatibility which means a large portion of its library won’t have 3D audio.

It Can Be a Transformative Experience

The audio experience is immersive with PS5 3D Audio. The audio comes from the side, above, and from behind. Gamers will be able to pinpoint the location of enemies in multiplayer games by hearing footsteps. Gunshots can echo all around you and explosions will feel more authentic.