‘Project Acoustic’ Audio Ray Tracing For Xbox Series X Revealed

By Zuhaad Ali

Microsoft has officially revealed the audio ray tracing technology for their next-gen console – Xbox Series X. Yesterday; we got our first look at the specs for Sony’s PlayStation 5. While the majority of the stream was focused on SSD, there is no denying that PS5 features a really impressive and game-changing 3D audio tech.

Speaking of the next-gen audio, Xbox Series X’s new audio ray tracing is called “Project Acoustic.” Here’s a quick read on what this is all about.

Project Acoustics is a wave acoustics engine for 3D interactive experiences. It models wave effects like occlusion, obstruction, portaling and reverberation effects in complex scenes without requiring manual zone markup or CPU intensive ray tracing. It also includes game engine and audio middleware integration. Project Acoustics’ philosophy is similar to static lighting: bake detailed physics offline to provide a physical baseline, and use a lightweight runtime with expressive design controls to meet your artistic goals for the acoustics of your virtual world. Ray-based acoustics methods can check for occlusion using a single source-to-listener ray cast, or drive reverb by estimating local scene volume with a few rays. But these techniques can be unreliable because a pebble occludes as much as a boulder. Rays don’t account for the way sound bends around objects, a phenomenon known as diffraction. Project Acoustics’ simulation captures these effects using a wave-based simulation. The acoustics are more predictable, accurate and seamless. Project Acoustics’ key innovation is to couple real sound wave-based acoustic simulation with traditional sound design concepts. It translates simulation results into traditional audio DSP parameters for occlusion, portaling, and reverb. The designer uses controls over this translation process.

We can’t possibly tell how this new audio technology will be in the video games until we try it ourselves. For the complete details, make sure to visit the official website. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!

Xbox Series X will be out holidays 2020.