elfoam wrote on 2021-03-31, 12:44:
The Gravis cards were _very_ expensive compared to your general sound blaster, that's why they didn't sell many
That's actually not true. They were priced near or lower than competing Creative cards. Take a look here for example:
UK, June 1994
https://archive.org/details/pc-format-1994-06 … age/n9/mode/2up
SB16: GBP 80
AWE32 GBP 199
GUS 2.1: GBP 90
GUS 3.4 GBP 130
UK, July 1995
https://archive.org/details/pc-format-1995-07 … e/n131/mode/2up
AWE32 Value: GBP 129
AWE32 Full: GBP 165
GUS: GBP 98
GUS Max: GBP 142
Pricing vs Creative wasn't the issue. The two biggies were marketing and Sound Blaster compatibility - which also explained why Gravis was so insistent that SBOS was valid Sound Blaster emulation (hardly...) and Creative had the easy job of pointing out it wasn't and their offerings were.
Tbh, I can't blame Gravis for thinking they could win with a non-SB compatible card in 1992. It was just a bit more than two years after the Sound Blaster launched and most people still had PC speakers. No decent AdLib support was probably a bigger issue then than no SB support. In retrospect, everything non-SB was doomed, but at the time that wasn't at all obvious. But... the GUS Max was probably the killer mistake. Gravis gambled on the industry embracing Microsoft's WSS standard and leaving Sound Blaster behind. That didn't happen, at least, not in the gaming arena - so the GUS actually didn't offer anything over the original GUS to most users. It did cost significantly more, and by 1994 not supporting any kind of Sound Blaster was just insane. The PnP just doubled down on this route. Ironically it might have worked a few years later when games had moved to Windows and DOS compatibility was an afterthought - but in its day this was suicide and sure enough, it failed in the marketplace.
Dead shame, but unfortunately entirely self-inflicted (unlike say AdLib and Mediavision, which really suffered unfair if not downright criminal trading practices by Creative). And no, exactly none of this has anything to do with resource management. In fact the GUS is one of the more forgiving cards for that, with a relatively good installer that even tests your resources for you.