THX, the George Lucas-founded company designed to improve sound for Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, has been acquired by gaming peripherals manufacturer Razer, in what is being seen as the company’s biggest push into VR yet.
Razer is currently heavily invested in the VR market, offering its own open-source virtual reality ecosystem designed to push a new standard in VR gaming. It’s thought that the company will leverage its THX acquisition to improve both the audio and video currently offered by VR.
While VR will become a big focus for THX in the future, Razer is assuring people that THX will maintain its current work. THX will also continue to operate as an independent entity under its own management and apart from the ongoing business of its parent company.
THX recently expanded its certification program to live entertainment and concert experiences. Under the new ownership, THX will maintain its core mission – to provide quality entertainment experiences in the cinema, in the home and on the go – while simultaneously being propelled into new categories in order to address evolving consumer needs.
“For over 30 years, THX has maintained a proud legacy of being one of the leaders in audio technology and certification worldwide,” says Laurie Fincham, senior vice president of Audio Research and Development at THX. “With its focus on quality, design and innovation, Razer supports our vision to optimise and deliver the best audio-visual experiences to audiences worldwide.”
Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan adds: “Razer has a vision for innovation at every level of entertainment, a vision which THX has championed since its inception more than 30 years ago. This acquisition will allow us to reinforce Razer’s leadership in gaming and extend the brand into broader areas of entertainment, while at the same time empowering THX to develop into a global powerhouse, independently.”
THX certification programs are designed as assurance to consumers of uncompromised quality, as well as best-in-class performance and consistency, in order to truthfully deliver the artist’s vision to audiences around the globe. The THX certification program has since expanded to audio electronics, non-Internet-connected speakers, TVs, projectors, automotive audio systems and live entertainment.
Moving forward, THX will focus on the expansion of its current certification program to include new technologies, such as immersive audio and HDR, and the introduction of whole new programs, such as headphone certification and, in the future, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality experiences and their enabling devices.
“Our focus has always been on ensuring that anyone can experience high quality entertainment, regardless of their medium of choice. With Razer, we can now continue to strengthen our core lines of business while delivering excellence for our customers’ ever-changing needs,” notes Ty Ahmad-Taylor, CEO of THX. “As a standalone company, THX will work with Razer but will primarily continue to service our partners in the industry in order to deliver great products to consumers.”
While THX will be owned by Razer, Min-Liang says that its products won’t receive any preferential treatment. “We do hope to get our products certified by THX,” he notes, although admits it won’t be automatic.