In a Game Developers Conference session here Thursday, Dolby representatives Jason Page and Michael Kelly shocked the audience by saying that more and more developers will be using MIDI-based technology to power in-game tunes, as it's the future of audio technology in next-generation console gaming. Yes, that's right. MIDI -- the relic from the bygone era of the IBM Compatible PC, situated in gaming audio history between origins of voice sampling technology and the clicks and beeps of tiny PC speakers. MIDI was once the music development tool of choice. After the advent of newer, more realistic sound formats, developers made a mass exodus toward prerecorded background music.
But MIDI has improved, the Dolby representatives said. Due to the power of next-generation consoles, MIDI samples can attain a fidelity comparable -- or even better -- than those performed on dedicated synthesizers. Plus, file sizes would be smaller and load times would be quicker. Developers are also beginning to complain about the lack of interactivity associated with prerecorded music, with Japanese composer Koji Kondo stating that if music isn't interactive or rhythmically in-tune with a game, it "might as well be piped from a source outside of the room". MIDI would be able to provide the interactivity Kondo seeks, Page and Kelly said, in addition to providing a sound similar to an orchestrated score.
News source: PC World