There are no worries when it comes to gaming support with complete EAX 5.0 included, which is still the yardstick for environmental audio.
There's also one new inclusion since the Essence; that being support for analog 7.1 channel output. So, if you would like to connect your surround system to the Xense, you can. This is a good decision on the part of ASUS because it sure does not hurt to have that extra connectivity.
ASUS push this system as a gaming solution quite strongly, of which it is (quite strong); let me assure you.
However, I do not think it should be limited as a gaming focused product. Rather, I feel this system is a fantastic general HD audio solution which targets and scores on many fronts.
To market it simply as a gaming system in my opinion after working extensively with most of the Xonar range is like selling a Lotus for use as a taxi. I mean, theoretically it would be able to handle the job with relative ease, but it's just able to do so much more when called upon that it seems a bit of a waste.
The Film Results
The Xense does come with a digital output on the rear as well as being able to support 7.1 outputs in analog language. But it's not really all there because like the Essence any surround digital movie soundtrack must be passed out along to a decoder.
This decoder might be a software or hardware decoder like a home theatre receiver. Now, this will work flawlessly; just remember that this particular card does not have decoders built into it.
However, I would recommend using Dolby Headphone to simulate a surround environment using all the good bits of the Xense board. Dolby (Labs) Headphone is the leading algorithm based surround sound software provider in the world.
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