Suspected performance aside, this is the first inkling we've heard of another graphics contender since the demise of Larrabee. (Not forgetting that Intel said they were discontinuing development of the "graphics card", they left the table open for speculation on the Larrabee technology outside of the "card" we were waiting for.) I would imagine we could see a return of Larrabee as well as a resurgence of VIA and possibly others. Lets not forget how very little the high-end graphics market actually accounts for ATI/Nvidia market penetration. Imagine having 4 teams on the field instead of just 2...
S3 and Via were good in the PII/K6-2 days but that was a long time ago. They're bottom feeders in the general MB market and I only use boards with their chips to replace one in an old system when I can't get anything else.
Before I consider it a worthwhile card, I'd have to know what sort of power it has on it. I know, it's not made for gaming... But will it be able to cut it for decoding H.264 and handling HDCP? THAT, I think, will be the main question that many of their prospective customers will be thinking. Obviously, gamers aren't their market; AMD's pretty much got that market locked up tight, with even Nvidia barely competing.
However, if they can make a card that is inexpensive, handles tons of displays, AND can handle full high-def decoding, they'll have themselves a market. Even better if it makes do with passive cooling. If it did all that, anything under, say, $150US would make it drool-inducing.
'course, I'll grant that S3 will likely fail to deliver on those daydreams; making good non-gamer cards seems to be almost exclusively Matrox's forté, with S3 mostly producing half-arsed stuff. But I guess we'll see.