Razer Makes Something Useful, Sells It Free!
Razer. You all know the relatively young company for their good, overly flash, sometimes slightly pointless and generally very overpriced pieces of hardware. Well, they're not only about gimmicky pieces of expensive plastic all the time. I dare say, this new software they're boasting, is quite useful indeed.
So what is it? Razer Surround. No, it's not a surround headset. It's a software piece of magic that can turn any stereo headset into a fully equipped, heart-pounding, ass-kicking, something-something (Dark! Side!) 7.1 (virtual) surround headset! Now, of course, the software won't split up your physical speaker drivers, or magically create new ones. It will instead use the games' positional data and emulate a virtual sense of surround sound. Being the owner of a virtual surround headset - Logitech's G930 - I can tell you that virtual surround works quite well at emulating the real thing.
This almost sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Sure, Logitech and many other companies have been producing virtual surround headsets for years already, but didn't even those require some form of fancy hardware-configuration to make the software work right... right?
Well, here's the kicker. Apparently Razer realize just how too-good-to-be-true this all sounds, so they're willing to let us try it out... for free! Yep, until December 31st, you're allowed to download and use this software without paying a dime out of the standard charge of $19.99. Razer are likely trusting their software to do the wonders it claims, and are relying on word-of-mouth to take care of the rest for them. In addition to getting the software for free, Razer are giving the option to donate money to the Child's Play children's charity organization.
Though I haven't tried this software out for myself, I must say, Razer might really be onto something if this works as well as advertised. Hardware manufacturers like Logitech might be forced to stop producing virtual surround headsets altogether, eventually. Who wouldn't rather pay $20 to get surround into their favourite stereo headset, than paying $250+ to get a headset dedicated to do the same thing?