"I guess we plead guilty to rushing the Voodoo 2 cards but the demand has been absolutely enormous... we had no choice," says Chris Boyce, brand manager for Creative Labs Europe.
Creative has sold between 20,000 and 30,000 Blaster Voodoo 2 cards in Europe since its launch in early March and admits the company is struggling to keep punters happy. "The boards are in short supply but we rely on silicon manufacturers who are struggling to make chips for the boards fast enough." 3DFX, maker of the Voodoo 2 chip could not be reached for comment but sources close to the US chip manufacturer say employees are making a fortune in overtime on the production line. "These guys are working around the clock to get the chips out but 3DFX is a minnow company and it may have bitten off more than it can chew."
Andrew Brannan, sales and marketing director for Diamond Multimedia, maker of the Monster 2 Voodoo 2 accelerator agreed that silicon manufacturers were the problem but accused Creative of simply "banging out cards" as quickly as possible to get a lead on Diamond. "There's no way we'd rush this card out. We were a week behind Creative and it was well worth it." Brannan says Diamond cards were worked on to give the cards the best possible acceleration, unlike Creative's offering which, he says, runs with standard reference drivers and performs below Diamond's Monster 2. A claim John Bennett, associate editor of PC Gaming World says is untrue. "On the whole, Diamond's drivers are historically better but in our tests these cards perform exactly the same."