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Creative Announces Availability of OpenAL 1.1 in Sound Blaster Family of Sound Cards

OpenAL 1.1 Combined with ISACT Provides the Most Compelling and Realistic Audio Experience for Windows XP and Vista

SINGAPORE - March 22, 2006 - Creative (NASDAQ: CREAF), a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products, today announced that OpenAL 1.1 will be available for Sound Blaster® sound cards this Spring to provide compelling audio playback and hardware acceleration in PC games developed for Windows XP and Vista. OpenAL 1.1 (Open Audio Library) and Creative's Interactive Spatial Audio Composition Tool (ISACT™) enable game developers to implement stunning 3D audio in PC, Xbox, and Xbox 360 games.

“OpenAL has advanced to become the ideal audio API for 3D audio on the PC, XBox and XBox 360,” said George Thorn, director of digital media relations at Creative. “For developers of Windows XP and Vista games, writing to OpenAL 1.1 will ensure that game audio will take full advantage of our Sound Blaster X-Fi hardware for 3D audio acceleration and advanced audio processing on both operating systems. In addition, our award winning ISACT Production Studio offers sound designers an intuitive and powerful authoring environment that allows them to explore new territory in game audio design, and is completely integrated with the OpenAL API for seamless cross-platform support.”

“OpenAL has proven to be a great choice for the Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach audio engine. The resulting audio performance and sound quality in-game is fantastic, with Creative's EAX engine providing incredibly immersive sound effects, especially the reverb in the dungeons,” said Geoff Scott, audio and video director from Turbine, Inc. “OpenAL's audio hardware support in Windows Vista will allow us to continue to implement these high-quality effects in the game for a long time to come.”

“One of the best ways to deliver an immersive and memorable PC gaming experience is to focus on creating a realistic 3D audio soundscape,” said Ed Lima, audio director from Human Head Studios, Inc. “To make that happen quickly, easily and effectively, we chose to take full advantage of the powerful audio capabilities of the Sound Blaster X-Fi in PREY, due for Windows XP and Vista later this year. We loved how easily OpenAL provided a direct path to hardware audio acceleration on the card. OpenAL allows us to employ the same audio code on both operating systems, greatly simplifying the process of designing and implementing audio into the game. This way, Human Head can ensure that players on both platforms will fully enjoy the vast and engaging audio experience we've created for them in PREY.”

The Sound Blaster X-Fi family of sound cards provides hardware acceleration in PC games so audio processing is offloaded from the PC CPU. With this additional processing power, users typically notice increased frame rate speeds. In addition, hardware acceleration can deliver far more precise 3D positional placement of sounds in-game, including elevation, along with real-time, stackable 3D effects such as reverbs, occlusion, and environmental morphing. Hardware acceleration can deliver all of these high-quality 3D effects to end users regardless of which headphones or multi-channel speaker configuration they choose.

Creative will demonstrate the advantages of writing to OpenAL under Windows XP, Vista and the Xbox platforms, in addition to its EAX® ADVANCED HD™ engine and ISACT during this week's 2006 Game Developers Conference in San Jose. In addition, Creative will co-host a session at the conference entitled “Hardware Audio Design and Implementation in PREY and QUAKE 4,” Friday, March 24 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

OpenAL 1.1, an upgrade for the free API, OpenAL, 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 additional volume fall-off models that will save developers effort in customizing their audio engine.

About Creative
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 United States. 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, Zen, EAX, ISACT and ADVANCED HD are trademarks or registered trademarks of Creative Technology Ltd. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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