NEWS - Saturday, December 13, 2003

Apogee to Make Xbox Audio Systems

Apogee Technology, Inc., a leading provider of digital audio amplification solutions, today announced the selection of their Direct Digital Amplification (DDX) solution for inclusion in the full-line of new Xbox branded speaker systems. The systems will be designed by Spherex, a subsidiary of Audio Products International (API), who will produce and market the Xbox branded "reference standard" video game audio systems under a 3-year exclusive global licensing agreement with Microsoft Corporation. Under the agreement, the audio systems containing Apogee’s DDX solution will be available in over 25,000 points of distribution worldwide with initial products expected at retail in Q1 2004. Apogee’s DDX Power and Controller ICs were selected for use in the Xbox audio systems based on the design flexibility and performance of DDX as well as the company’s ability to provide extensive design support. The DDX-2100’s powerful, highly efficient, all-digital, versatile design will enable Spherex to mix and match power configurations with subwoofers and satellites to deliver intense multi-channel Xbox gaming experiences. In conjunction with Spherex’s OMNIPOLAR technology which disperses sound in a 360 degree pattern and Waves Ltd.’s MaxBass that psycho-acoustically extends the lower end of bass frequency response up to one-and-a-half octaves to deliver deeper, richer, more natural bass, DDX will create the most realistic immersive experience available for gaming, movies and music. The Xbox branded audio systems will also be the first to incorporate Apogee’s recently announced DDX-8001 Controller adding significant processing power for design flexibility. The DDX-8001 was instrumental to Spherex’s design providing unrivaled 10-band EQ, bass management, advanced mixing and Automode programming enabling rapid time-to-market. According to an API press release dated December 1, 2003, Bill Nielsen, Microsoft’s Director of the Xbox Brand was quoted as saying, "We are very excited with what API’s new sound system brings to the value and experience of Xbox and how the millions of video game players will respond to the exceptionally-heightened interactivity of the games that run on Xbox 5.1. Xbox gamers will find this sound system permits them to become completely immersed in the virtual world of the video game." "Our speakers with OMINIPOLAR technology are the choice of demanding game developers and mixing engineers," said Alex Romanov, President and CEO of Spherex. "Apogee’s DDX technology was the key element in our systems design enabling us to meet Microsoft’s requirements of providing a ’reference standard’ video game audio system that offers outstanding performance in a compact package, at a consumer-friendly price." John Gitelman, Apogee’s Director of Marketing said, "Our fundamental DDX design and support philosophy is to address our customers design challenges by providing superior solutions that can be rapidly integrated into products. Our new DDX-8001 Controller in conjunction with our power ICs was vital to enable the fastest and smoothest design process for Spherex to win Microsoft’s Xbox audio system business." The inclusion in Spherex’s 3-year exclusive global licensing agreement represents the first use of Apogee’s DDX technology in the video gaming industry. Industry analysts forecast that the interactive video game industry will grow faster than any other media sector, outpacing television, radio, motion pictures, music, newspapers and Internet advertising. The Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.), a non-profit organization educating and heightening the awareness of audio for the interactive world, has long promoted the impact sound will have on the industry. G.A.N.G.’s members represent many of the world’s foremost music composers and game developers. A 20-person G.A.N.G. advisory board advised on the new system’s features and specifications.


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