The Xbox Series X could receive a fancy new audio accessory from renowned headphone and speaker maker Bang & Olufsen. It's a major partnership that's designed to steal some thunder from the PS5's advanced 3D audio.
We learned about the new arrangement from an announcement published on Bang & Olufsen's Twitter account (via TechRadar). The attached press release explains how it and Xbox are working on a "high-end audio proposition for gaming". The products will be officially “Designed for Xbox”, meaning they'll work easily with the new console's features.
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In its statement, Xbox's head of hardware partnerships Matt Kesselring is quoted as saying" "we’re excited to partner with Bang & Olufsen to bring a new premium tier of gaming audio to market for Xbox and Bang & Olufsen fans around the world that travels with you everywhere you love to play Xbox”.
We are excited to announce that we have joined forces with @Xbox to create a new audio proposition catered for the high-end segment within #gaming, leveraging our core capabilities of sound, design and craft. More to come on what that means soon. #Xbox #BangOlufsenJune 9, 2020
B&O's vice president and head of product management Christoffer Poulsen also comments that "we see a big commercial potential within gaming, and in Xbox we believe we have found the ideal partner to realize that potential".
Unfortunately, this is all the two companies are saying for now. We don't even know what kind of product B&O will be releasing, but the smart money would be on a gaming headset.
This partnership is an interesting development since B&O has not made any previous moves to attract customers from the world of gaming. However, as gamers grow up and more people start playing in general, there will be a larger number of people willing to pay what will likely be a premium price for whatever B&O has planned for the Xbox.
We've also heard that Bose is working on a gaming headset too, based on its excellent QuietComfort 35 II noise-cancelling headphones. Perhaps this will be the start of a trend of established audio companies looking to attract console gamers who have money to burn on the best peripherals they can get their hands on.
We'd expect this B&O/Xbox collaboration to bear fruit around the same time that the Xbox Series X and PS5 are due to launch: this November. While the PS5 may have a lead in the sound department due to its 3D Audio, Xbox could edge it out in graphics thanks to its higher compute output.