I've been thinking about this type of thing for a while now - getting to a more basic level of sound reproduction, like we've been doing the last few years with graphics.
Compare this to lighting in the Quake era, compared to today. Before, we had pre-rendered lighting in the .bsp, or worse (painting it on the texture). Now's it's simulated at a more basic (read: realistic) level, like a lower level emulator, with real-time lighting.
And just as Doom 3's lighting was innovative but not terribly practical for many uses, so is this beginning of low-level synthesized sound. I hope we make large strides at both.
For the record, this is my first (evar) post on slashdot. After reading for years. How do I line-break exactly?