Game On!

Caution! Don’t Read This if You Are Between 14 and 64 years old.

If you’re a gamer, chances are that you’ve never heard of the REL Effect.  However, this one change is the single biggest upgrade that you will ever experience outside of buying your gaming console (or high-end gaming computer).

Recently, one of our regional managers had a rare weekend to himself. Having recently acquired the finishing elements of a serious home theatre, he thought “Why not bring my PS 5 down and have some fun running my games through my home theatre?” Ten minutes later he was up and running, but it was missing something and he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. It was missing the kick and heavy-weight bass that great movie soundtracks provide.

Then he realized his roommate had borrowed his center channel REL. Being a REL Regional manager has its perks, and after a quick swing over to the office a T/9x model was installed into the system and quickly dialed in. The text I received shortly thereafter was brief. Oh my goodness. Which was spelled “OMFG”, which elicited a text from me, “Ok, what’s this about?” Five hours later, I received a call from him. It was brief – he needed to get back to his PS-5– he hadn’t responded because he was waaay too busy enjoying his combat game.

The gist of what he said was that he’d never had so much fun, never realized how much was previously missing from the gaming experience, and how much better of a player he could be with his T/9x in place.  The increased ability to shoot, drive, fly, and place things more accurately, when the bass dynamics and spatial cues were properly revealed was completely unexpected. And it doesn’t even have to be a big expensive REL; a T/5x or a Tzero MKIII will do the trick!

He expected the bangs, thumps, and booms to be hugely improved. And they were. A lot. But he’s still, some 2 weeks later, shocked at how much more realistically he’s immersed in the 3-D sound field, and how much his in-game awareness has improved. In his words, he could hear people sneaking up on him, allowing him to avoid contact with players trying to defeat him. And it wasn’t just in shooter games, F-1 also relies on sound to bring home the realism but things like tire thumps off the berms at the side of the track gave him greater aural feedback instantly. Everything from “Oh, that wasn’t too much impact, I’m good” all the way to, “Oops, gotta correct NOW!”

The long and short of it is this: He spent much of the next 48 hours hugely enjoying gaming. The local pizza parlor may have been the biggest winner (seriously, 5 pizzas in one weekend?)…and he came away with a renewed appreciation for what we do here. Now, let’s see, I’d like to try the track at Silverstone next. Where are my driving gloves? Get me my REL and let’s go drivin’!!!

January 9, 2023 - Posted in: System Thinking