Sony PS5 is a latest generation console with superb hardware and software which makes it a worthwhile improvement over the last generation PS4 console. Though the availability is still one of the biggest issue plaguing both Microsoft and Sony. But nevertheless it does not dampen the excitement around the specs of this brand new console.
The Sony PS5 comes with enhanced 3D audio technology called as ‘Tempest Engine’. Tempest Engine is one of the many improvements done by Sony in PS5. In a simple explanation, it is nothing but a hardware level enhancement for audio in the console which improves the quality of 3D audio.
What is 3D audio?
3D audio is not something which is coming as a new feature in PS5. Instead it is present in the entertainment industry for quite some time. Technically 3D audio as the name suggest creates a perspective for the end user as if they are the ones who are playing within the game. In case if a sound is coming from the corner within the virtual world then the player will also seem to listen in the same way as if it is coming from that corner. You might be thinking that current games already have surround sound technology which behaves in the similar manner. Games such as Battlefield 5 already employs quite good surround sound techniques as in that game listening to the footsteps and reacting to them in a timely manner is everything. 3D audio is even better at implementing that kind of 3D surround sound and will help players in getting the awesome immersive experience from future games.
Do we need headphones to enjoy the enhanced 3D audio from Tempest Engine?
Well as usual with surround sound technology the best way to enjoy 3D audio from tempest engine is via good quality headphones but according to the PlayStation 5 architect Mark Cerny, they are developing the tempest engine keeping in mind all form of output devices which means you will be able to enjoy the 3D audio out of your home theatre system also.
What exactly is Tempest Engine?
Tempest Engine as stated earlier is a hardware level chip which is developed by AMD in partnership with Sony. As per the technical details @ Digital Foundry, Tempest Engine is a CU (Compute Unit) of an AMD Graphic Card but without any cache like the regular CU and relying exclusively on DMA (Direct Memory Access) transfers (As the name suggests the data would be transferred directly from one component to another within the machine without getting processed at CPU).
Well yea HRTF. HRTF stands for Head Related Transfer function. You can think it as a table which contains columns like Ear Structure of a person and their corresponding function which will be loaded in Tempest Engine. So this means as per the structure of a persons ear there will be a dedicated custom function which will be used for 3D surround sound. Sony is already having 100 different function available for PS5 at launch.