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Sound BlasterX Makes Noise on Neil's Messy Basement

Creative Labs Sound BlasterX AE5This episode of Neil's Messy Basement has been a really (and we mean a really, really) long time coming!

This edition of the show is all about audio on PC.  It started as a review of the Sound BlasterX AE5 sound card, and became so much more.  It even required a special doctors visit (seriously!).  While it will be valuable to all gamers, this is particularly useful for VR gamers that are trying to determine how to best meet their audio needs (needs they may not have even realized!).

This episode talks about the audio lingo and what it all means, it establishes a comparable with multiple motherboard solutions (most if not all motherboard audio is based on Realtek), and it makes recommendations based on your circumstances.

Much more is covered as well and most will come out knowing a lot more than they did going in.  Suffice to say, we really liked the Sound BlasterX AE5, and the big question that needed answering is why - so here we go!
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TrendForce Shared Some Realistic VR Sales Results

TrendForce VR Sales DataThese are easily the most realistic and palatable VR sales numbers we have seen to date.  Credited to TrendForce, the total virtual reality market size for 2018 is 4.65 million units.  This includes PC, console, and stand-alone VR HMD.  The market size was estimated to be 3.65 million in 2017 so the growth isn't all that substantial for 2018.

Combining the classifications of both PC and stand-alone HMD, it is projected that Oculus will have sold 900,000 units (Oculus Go and Oculus CV1) and HTC will have sold 600,000 units (HTC Vive and Vive Focus) in 2018.

The current Sony PSVR sales count is estimated to be about two million units.  The Windows Mixed Reality platform partners account for about 150,000 units in 2018.

The only caveat we see with this report is it gives no mention of solutions like the Samsung Gear VR or Google Cardboard, though it's questionable as to how long they will remain relevant given the direction the VR brands are headed.
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Half!

Oculus Rift
Sort of good news for Facebook in that the previous ruling that penalized them for half a billion dollars for copyright infringement and breach of contract with Zenimax was reduced to a more modest $250 million.  More interesting is that the personal financial liabilities in the previous ruling were wiped for the Oculus founders directly.

Sourced from Bloomberg:

“Based on a strong evidentiary record, the jury in this case found that ZeniMax was seriously harmed by the defendants’ theft of ZeniMax’s breakthrough VR technology and its verdict reflected that harm,” the company said in a statement, adding that it’s weighing next steps.

Zenimax threw in an extra barb that while the award was reduced to $250 million, they got an extra $49 million in interest.  Must be nice!
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