Dolby has released a new audio technology that it hopes will let Xbox 360 and PS3 gamers hear realistic voice communication, complete with surround panning and distance attenuation, at GDC in San Francisco.

Called Dolby Axon, and already available on some online games for the PC, the company is hoping that console games developers will embrace the new audio technology; allowing gamers to have their voices mapped to the game environment as well as producing an improvement in chat quality.

The technology is similar to that already found in Creative's new World of Warcraft headset, which is to be released in the UK in the next couple of weeks. The headphones, which have been specifically designed for the online game, allow you to enjoy THX surround sound and change your voice to sound like one of the game characters, however at the moment the headset is only available for the PC.

Dolby says that all the technologies combined should allow for improved audio chain processing: like noise and echo suppression for clear voice communication - ie when you're about to sweep and clear a building.