Level 3 Interactive Media
Unit 69: Sound for Computer Games
A Brief history of Video Games Consoles and their Sound Functions
Release date: 1972 NA, 1973 EU, and 1974 JP.
This system lacked a sound capability in its circuit board so was unable to make any sounds at all. It had been proposed by Ralph Baer to add a sound function but was shot down. Since it had no sound function, it handles no channels or tone generators nor could sounds be manipulated and had no sampling capabilities.
Fairchild Channel F
Release date: 1976.
This system had a board that allowed it to make beeps equal to 120 Hz, 500 Hz and 1 kHz which could be manipulated into producing sound and tones.
Nintendo Entertainment System
Release date: JP July 15, 1983
EU September 1986
This system had a board that had a mono audio system that allowed it to have; two square wave channels, one triangle wave channels, one noise generator and one DPCM channel, 6-bit audio, 4.2 to 33.5 kHz sampling rate.
Sega Mega Drive
Release date: JP October 29, 1988
NA August 14, 1989
EU November 30, 1990
This system had a board that had a stereo audio system that allowed it to have: 6 FM synthesis channels/voices,
3 square wave channels/voices, sine wave LFO and
1 PCM channel, 8-bit samples, 8 to 22 kHz sampling rate.
Release date: JP June 23, 1996
NA September 29, 1996
EU March 1, 1997
AUS March 1, 1997
This system had a board that had a stereo audio system that allowed it to have: Variable number of channels (up to 100 if all system resources are devoted to audio), capable of playing back different types of audio (including PCM, MP3, MIDI and tracker music), 16‑bit audio and 44.1 kHz sampling rate on all channels.
Release date: NA November 15, 2001
JP February 22, 2002
EU March 14, 2002
This system had 64 channels of 3D sound, or 256 channels of 16-bit stereo audio. It also supports MIDI, mono audio, Dolby Surround and Dolby Digital Live 5.1 in games and DTS support when playing back DVD movies.
Release date: NA 22 November 2005
EU 2 December 2005
JP 10 December 2005
AUS 23 March 2006
This system had Dolby Digital, WMA Pro DTS*, DTS-ES* *(DVD and HD DVD movies only) It also had 256+ audio channels and 320 independent decompression channels and 32-bit processing; 48kHz 16-bit support.
Release date: NA November 22, 2013
EU November 22, 2013 (select countries only)
AUS November 22, 2013
JP September 4, 2014
This system has 7.1 LCPM and bitstreaming output via HDMI, 2.0 LCPM and bitstreaming output via optical out. It also has an Internal system speaker and stereo output via extension port on controller (requires adapter for 3.5mm jacks)