SOUND FIRM Creative said it is offering a software application which will help gamers get round Microsoft's decision to remove the hardware abstraction layer for Vista. The app, called Alchemy, is or will be available on the Creative web site in the next hour or two. The absence of a hardware abstraction level means that Alchemy will detect what Direct Sound games you have, and bypass Vista so you will be able to get the most out of your games. No abstraction layer will also as a by-product affect people relying on Digital Dolby encoding.
Neil McGuinness, product manager at Creative said that his firm had been pushing Open AL and some of the premier titles have adopted it, but that's only a tiny percentage of the available games.