First post, by 640K!enough
You know, I'm slightly annoyed that wile graphics cards have turned into 10 pound heat pipe behemoths that are more powerful than the rest of the computer they are attached to, sound cards fizzled out and died. Human beings have 2 important senses that come into play with video games: Vision and hearing. Vision is all taken care of. Sound has been sorely neglected. What Creative ought to be doing now is conducting full blown FEA, on-chip, hardware accelerated, using architecture and object data from the game. This is totally doable, and would make sound cards develop in a similar vein to graphics cards, with realistic real-time 3D sound. Basically this is a huge amount of untouched potential IMO.
Maybe you're unaware, but Creative has spent most of its existence doing its very best to avoid investing in innovation. Why spend money keeping up with competitors, when all it will take is a little anti-competitive behaviour to put them out of business? Aureal was starting the industry down the path you describe, but Creative saw fit to file one frivolous lawsuit after another until they couldn't even afford to defend themselves any longer. Then they bought what was left after the bankruptcy, and never used any of it. They have almost single-handedly destroyed the PC audio market with their mediocrity. If you think they have any real interest in innovation, you're fooling yourself.