Dolby Laboratories announced that the Xbox video game system from Microsoft would feature the new Dolby Interactive Content Encoder, a breakthrough technology that dynamically encodes multichannel audio into Dolby Digital 5.1.
The first encoder of its kind, the Dolby Interactive Content Encoder enables real-time Dolby Digital encoding in game. The Xbox, upon its release in the United States and Japan in the fall of 2001, will be the first gaming industry product to feature this technology. Previous video game systems could utilize Dolby Digital 5.1 only during non-interactive ``cut scene'' playback. In contrast, the Dolby Interactive Content Encoder enables the Xbox to provide interactive Dolby Digital 5.1 during actual gameplay.
The Dolby Interactive Content Encoder, as used in the Xbox, achieves superior output for all multichannel four and 5.1 channel game audio from Dolby Digital home theater/speaker systems with low latency-rendering interactive game sound effects in the same surround sound quality offered in DVDs. Moreover, the Xbox has a dedicated digital signaling processing unit within the Xbox Media Communications Processor, the chip that houses the Dolby Interactive Content Encoder technology, enabling the unit to perform on-the-fly Dolby Digital audio encoding with no game performance penalty.