Yamaha Corporation licenses its XG Soft Synthesizer to Square Soft
for PC Version of Final Fantasy VII
Enriches PC Game with Realistic Background Music and Sound Effects
Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, April 21, 1998 -- Yamaha Corporation of Japan has agreed to license its XG-formatted Soft Synthesizer S-YXG70 to Square Soft, Inc. of Costa Mesa, California, developer of the PC version of the Final Fantasy video game series, as the music playback system in Square Soft's Final Fantasy VII PC game software.
The new Soft Synthesizer S-YXG70 from Yamaha, the world's largest manufacturer of musical instruments, enables anyone with a home PC to enjoy music playback with CD-quality sound, even on PCs without a sound card.
"We are delighted that Square Soft, Inc., will adopt our Soft Synthesizer. This gives the latest PC version of the Final Fantasy series high-quality background music and video-arcade-quality virtual-reality sound," said Yamaha Corporation President Kazukiyo Ishimura.
"Players can experience all of the excitement and thrills of the game just as its developers intended, irrespective of the music-source type that the player's PC uses," President Ishimura added.
The addition of the Yamaha XG-formatted Soft Synthesizer S-YXG70 on the latest PC version of the Final Fantasy adventure, Final Fantasy VII, has brought many benefits, say the developers of the PC version, Square Soft.
"We have been able to compact the sound data, provide superior virtual-reality sound to that available on electronic game devices, and to achieve enhanced music quality for the game itself. We're certain that players will enjoy the difference," said Tomoyuki Takechi, president of Square Soft, Inc.
Sales of the latest Final Fantasy -- the highly-successful game package for use on home PCs -- will begin throughout the U.S. and Europe from June 25 this year and will be handled by Eidos Interactive of London, U.K.
Music Capability in Game Software
Game software uses background music and sound effects true to the scenes to enrich the game atmosphere and add to the enjoyment. On PCs however, the sound-source system varies from user to user so the music playback environment for game software is not uniform on them. This means that unlike the situation with game devices, game music is often played back in formats not foreseen by the game's producers and this can sometimes detract from the sound reproduction quality.
Yamaha Soft Synthesizer
These problems were overcome on the PC version of Final Fantasy VII by the incorporation of Yamaha's Soft Synthesizer, software designed to deliver high quality music regardless of the music-source type. With this software a PC installed with a Pentium CPU can create up to 676 voices and 128 simultaneous notes ﾐenough to keep the ears of any game enthusiast fully engaged.
A further advantage of the Yamaha Soft Synthesizer is that it also achieves high-level data compression of music through the digitalization of the background music and sound effects. In this way, anyone can have music playback with CD-quality sound, even on PCs without a sound card.
This outstanding technology can not only generate a rich variety of voices and wide range of sound effects, but is also compatible with DirectSound (see Note 1). This DirectSound compatibility permits smooth playback of sound effects during background music playback. And of course, once Yamaha's software is installed on a PC, users can experience other XG-compatible software in addition to Final Fantasy VII. Yamaha also converted the music of the nearly 100 original songs presented in Final Fantasy VII into XG format (Note 2) compatible MIDI data.
These features of the Soft Synthesizer allow users to enjoy reproduction of the exact sound quality and voices originally intended by the software developers and excite to video arcade-quality virtual reality sound on a PC, regardless of their particular PC setup. Moreover, as the software modulates the number of voices and simultaneous notes according to the power of the CPU, MIDI files can be played back with high quality sound -- even on a PC with a relatively slow processor.
The Soft Synthesizer S-YXG70 integrates features from two applications already on the market, the S-YG20 and the S-YXG50.
What's Final Fantasy VII?
Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing game package for home video game developed and sold by Square Co., Ltd., that allows players to assume the roles of characters appearing in the course of the game. With its richly lyrical stories, variety of characters, beautiful graphics, and powerful sound effects, this series proved a hit among game fans when first introduced in 1987 and has since been developed into a series. Final Fantasy VII, released in January 1997 in Japan, features 3-D computer graphics combined with motion-picture quality directing, camera work and sound effects to produce a game that truly delivers the promise of virtual reality. The game has been a best-seller, with approximately 3.7 million copies sold in Japan and nearly 6 million copies sold worldwide.
Final Fantasy VII is currently being ported to PCs by Square Soft, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Square Co., Ltd. which is the developer and distributor of the Final Fantasy series. Eidos Interactive, a major distributor of PC and game-device software in North America and Europe, will market the Windows version. The PC version of Final Fantasy VII will be available in Europe and North America through Eidos Interactive starting June 25, 1998. There are no plans to sell the product in Japan.
Final Fantasy VII Specifications and Hardware and Software Requirements
|CPU||:||Pentium166 MHz or higher
(recommend 200 MHz or higher, if no graphics card or sound card)
|RAM||:||min. 32 Mb|
|Hardware||:||3D graphics accelerator card recommended
min. 4x CD-ROM drive
If not using Soft Synthesizer, an XG compatible sound card is recommended
|Software||:||Direct 3D and DirectX 5.0 usable environment|
Max. simultaneous polyphony
32 - 128 notes
360 - 676 voices plus 21 drum/SFX kits
44.1 KHz/22.05 KHz/11.025 kHz
1 - 3 classes (8 reverb, 8 chorus, and 36 variations)
Hardware and Software Requirements:
|CPU||:||Pentium 90 MHz or higher
(recommend at least a MMX Technology Pentium Processor)
|RAM||:||min. 8 Mb (recommend min. 16 Mb)|
|Hardware||:||16-bit audio playback capability required|
DirectSound is a component of DirectX, a graphics accelerator
advocated by Microsoft for the Windows environment. The technology
is a virtual hardware sound device and enables direct communication
between application and sound card by offering an application
program interface (API) independent of specific hardware. This
results in sound playback with less delay than is possible with
other methods, as well as offering sound mixing capability.
The XG Format is a music-source format for electronic musical
instruments advocated by Yamaha. It is a format in step with the
multimedia age, specifically developed to handle data exchange,
offer rich reproduction, and be compatible with computers, with
a high degree of compatibility with General MIDI. It is characterized
by a voice arrangement geared toward expandability, a wide range
of voices, voice correction, a variety of effects, and external
Final Fantasy and Square Soft are registered trademarks of Square
Windows, DirectX, and DirectSound are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Pentium and MMX Technology Pentium Processor are registered trademarks of Intel Corp. The XG logo is a registered trademark of Yamaha Corporation. Soft Synthesizer is a Yamaha Corporation trademark.
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