THX to certify sound of video games

THX, the sound company started by movie director George Lucas to ensure that fans heard his films the way he intended, said Tuesday that it would begin granting its seal of approval to audio produced for video games.

The move could help improve the sound on video games, but it could also lend a measure of credibility to games at a time when the gaming industry sees itself as being as important in the entertainment landscape as movies, TV and music. San Rafael, Calif.-based THX said Electronic Arts, the largest video game publisher, was the first to achieve THX certification for its games. Five EA games--"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," "SSX 3," "Medal of Honor Rising Sun," "Need for Speed Underground" and "James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing," will be THX Certified Games upon their release and carry logos on their box as well as pregame trailers.

"You're actually giving the game guys the opportunity to have a standard very similar to broadcast and movies," said Mark Tuffy, THX's director of advanced technology. He said that during the past five to six years, many companies have approached THX with the idea of doing THX-certified video games, but his company was not seriously interested until its spin-off from Lucas' Lucasfilm 18 months ago. As games have grown in popularity and deepened their hold on mass-market audiences, sound has become an increasingly important factor for publishers who recognize the power of high-profile soundtracks and realistic audio effects.

News source: C|Net News.com

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