After hearing rumors during the past week, I tried to reach our contacts at Creative Labs in Europe who weren't able to give further detail on the company's plans. Surprisingly enough however, Creative has unveiled the Sound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro soundcard on its website without issuing any press releases beforehand, touting the new card as "A Dramatic Break Through in Audio Quality for Playback, Games and Creation":
"Sound Blaster® Audigy® 4 Pro is an amazing fusion of Entertainment and Music Creation. Featuring ultra-high quality DACs and an External I/O Hub which provides 6 Stereo Inputs/6 Stereo Outputs, Sound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro enables amazingly clean recording of six channels at 24-bit/96kHz with low latency ASIO 2.0 support. Sound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro also comes with the all new Entertainment Center software and remote control unit, transforming your PC into a Entertainment Center with easy MP3 and movies playback and navigation."
Creative is well known for its SoundBlaster products targeting enthusiast and gamers alike however for the past year or so, they have extended its product line to cover other alternative markets, take for example the external NX soundcard or the Audigy PCMCIA for laptops. Despite of the close resemblance with the Audigy 2 ZS, the PC Audio giant seems to be aiming at the professional market with the new Audigy 4 Pro. With a rumored release for the current month, be sure more details will follow soon.