I’m sure you’ve all heard of surround sound (perhaps some of you even have it), and I’m sure you know of its uses regarding watching movies and how absolutely awesome it can affect a movie’s audio. What if you applied the concept to video games, as opposed to just movies & TV? Imagine this:
You are walking down a hallway, waiting for someone to make a move, so you can make your kill. You see nothing, it’s almost pitch black in the hallway and you can see next to nothing. You hear the slightest sound behind you to the left and you spin around and fire 3 shots into darkness. You make a kill.
Now, make the hallway virtual, put yourself behind a controller. Yet the sound you hear still comes from the left, behind you. With surround consisting of five to seven speakers, plus a subwoofer, you could have the ability to hear in all possible directions.
The trick is getting the game manufacturers to support 5- or 7-channel surround sound. Nonetheless, surround could enhance any gaming experience, even with other types of games. In racing games, you could hear which direction a car was approaching from; perhaps what you were approaching; or even where you are in relation to the announcer. In RPG-style games, perhaps you could hear someone shouting your name from a certain direction and you have to try to find them.
There are tons of possibilities with surround-sound enhanced games, and with surround sound becoming more common in the average household every day, I think we can start expecting to see it appear in more and more games. (Hell, 90% of the DVDs you buy today have the ability to output to surround sound already, why not games?)