MILPITAS, Calif. - August 3, 1999
- Creative Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ: CREAF) the world's leading provider of multimedia products for the PC, today announced that over 50 leading game titles are now shipping with support for Creative's Environmental Audio technology. The availability of these games underscores the broad support for Environmental Audio technology through Creative's Environmental Audio Extensions (EAX) application programmer's interface (API). Microsoft's recent licensing of EAX technology and plans to incorporate effects into a future version of DirectX, further establishes Environmental Audio technology as the de facto standard for 3D game development.
"3D positional audio technology set the stage for realistic 3D gaming. With Environmental Audio, we promoted a new audio experience by adding a sense of the acoustic environments in games for both two-speaker and multi-speaker settings. Today, we are glad that it has become the de facto standard for immersive 3D gaming," said Sim Wong Hoo, the chairman and chief executive officer, Creative Technology. "The fact that there are over 50 game titles from leading developers that support Environmental Audio, and Microsoft's recent announcement to support effects in DirectX, clearly establishes Environmental Audio as the leading standard for 3D gaming - much like Sound Blaster has been established as the standard for PC Audio."
Creative's EAX 2.0 API was also used as a basis for IA-SIG (Interactive Audio Special Interest Group) Level 2 guidelines that aims to define the next 3D audio standard - I3DLS2. This new EAX-based guideline is being proposed for adoption by the gaming industry.
Environmental Audio Extensions (EAX) are property sets that extend Microsoft's DirectSound and DirectSound 3D. With EAX, Creative is delivering a versatile and easy-to-use industry compliant application programmer's interface (API) tool that developers can use to create the highly immersive experience of Environmental Audio in their games. Creative's EAX API is now used by many game developers to include reverb, echo, and acoustic properties for room size. These and other EAX effects in games place the user in the center of the action.
"We have fully integrated EAX into our games including titles such as Thief Gold and Thief 2: The Metal Age ," said Steve Pearsal, project director at Looking Glass Studios. "EAX technology is awesome! It gives us the tools we need to fully immerse the player in our gaming worlds."
The list of best-selling 3D games supporting Creative's Environmental Audio Platform continues to grow rapidly. Some of the hot new titles that offer support for EAX include Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo II, Electronic Arts' Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Interplay's Descent 3, 3DO's Might and Magic VII and Bullfrog Productions' Dungeon Keeper 2. Top developers that are also using Creative's EAX API to produce environmental audio effects in their games include: Bungie, Dreamworks Interactive, ION Storm, GT Interactive, Lucas Arts, Fox Interactive, Interplay, Looking Glass Studios, and Monolith Productions. To obtain a current and more complete list of game titles that support EAX, visit Creative's web site at https://www.soundblaster.com/eaudio.
"When making Diablo II, we had the vision of creating a game that completely enveloped the gamer," said Matt Householder, developer at Blizzard Entertainment. "EAX's reverberation effects are instrumental in bringing our game environments to life. The realism is startling. Players can sense the changes as they travel through the game's crypts and taverns."
Environmental Audio Extensions, Creativity & Microsoft DirectX
Creative's annual developer's conference, Creativity 99, in Los Angeles and London - with over 200 developers in attendance - confirmed the growing support for the EAX API. In a recent licensing agreement, Microsoft announced plans to incorporate EAX effects into its next version of the Microsoft DirectX operating system.
"Creative's EAX agreement with Microsoft is an important one for game developers and consumers alike," said George Thorn, director of Developer Relations at Creative. "It means that future versions of DirectX will have an acceptable software fallback for Environmental Audio. This level of support will, in turn, encourage even more developers to incorporate Environmental Audio in their games."
Creative's Environmental Audio Platform
Creative's new audio standard, Environmental Audio, takes a systems approach to delivering the Environmental Audio experience - from the processor and Environmental Modeling algorithms, to the multi-channel speaker systems and the API for gaming software - Creative provides a complete experience for its Environmental Audio Platform. Designed to leverage the power of the Sound Blaster Live! family of audio accelerators, Environmental Audio delivers a completely new way to experience games, music and entertainment on the desktop.
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