Considering that Creative haven’t really been doing much work in hardware since the sound blaster Live! … I suspect they’ve got exactly what they deserve.
As far as I can tell, they expand their card lineup approx every 18months … which vaguely coincides with moore law, which suggests the timeline for chips top shrink/get faster.
The Xifi’s most likely aren’t much different to the SBLive! except that they’ve clocked the chip higher (due to smaller die size & lower energy use) and can hence crunch more numbers in the same timeframe … (24b/192Khz audio anyone?).
To tell the honest truth, I suspect that the hardware division has been dismantled & outsourced, and no-one knows how the damn chips work anymore. To top it off, the original programmers have probably pee’d off for a better pay rate somewhere else … leaving Creative in the lurch, as no-one knows anything about either the hardware, nor the software.
That said … Sound Blaster Sound Cards are premium after market cards, the average Joe makes do with whatever’s on board, so they’ve quite frankly pissed off the enthusiast community, and aren’t going to be forgiven.
Oh, and Creative’s MP3 players, and Speaker Sets quite frankly suck.
So much for putting eggs in many baskets.
Creatives going down like a 90yr old woman with a broken hip