Razer Acquires THX To “play a leadership role” in VR Audio

by Jamie Feltham • October 18th, 2016

Here’s an acquisition we’d have never seen coming; gaming peripheral maker and OSVR leader Razer has this week acquired THX.

That’s the very same THX that was established by Star Wars creator George Lucas in 1983 and has since become one of the leading names in cinematic audio. Razer has acquired the “majority” of the company’s assets, a press release states, though no financial details have been revealed. THX is expected to carry on its work in cinematic audio, as well as other strands of its business like delivering sound for live musical performances and partnering with others to include its technologies in other products.

It may also mean big things for VR audio. THX CEO Ty Ahmad-Taylor addressed the technology in a blog post announcing the news. “We are interested in providing superior audio-visual experiences,” he wrote. “As gaming bridges into VR, we expect to play a leadership role in the audio portion of that experience, which is crucial for completion the immersion into virtual worlds.” The press release also mentions an expansion into VR, augmented reality and “their enabling devices” in the future too.

Ahmad-Taylor later expanded on his VR comments to The Wrap. “What we’re primarily focused on is the acoustic environment for VR,” he told the site. “All you’re getting now in VR is called binaural, which puts the sound in the middle of your head.” He explained that the company is interested in creating “and immersive sound environment” for VR

It sounds like this deal could be relevent to both VR software and hardware. When it comes to the latter, Razer has its OSVR Hacker Dev Kit (HDK), which we were far from impressed with. Opening up THX’s tools for VR developers to implement into their experiences, however, could be a very good thing.

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