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NVIDIA says trying to design a GPU for the console wasn't worth the cost

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) has quietly dominated the market for commodity graphics chips and CPUs for console gaming systems, and the latest generation of consoles look to be no exception.  Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758PS4, to launch this holiday season, will feature an AMD GPU and CPU.  And there's an AMD 550 MHz Radeon "Latte" GPU aboard Nintendo Comp., Ltd.'s (TYO:7974popular Wii U.

So how does NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA), AMD's chief rival in the PC graphics market feel about AMD's dominance of the increasingly PC-like consoles?  Not too bad, apparently.

NVIDIA's Senior Vice President of content and tecnology told Gamespot in a recent interview that his company is essentially letting AMD win.  While he's convinced his firm could be AMD if it tried, he says it just isn't worth it, remarking:

I'm sure there was a negotiation that went on and we came to the conclusion that we didn't want to do the business at the price those guys were willing to pay. Having been through the original Xbox and PS3, we understand the economics of the development and the trade-offs.

If we say, did a console, what other piece of our business would we put on hold to chase after that? In the end, you only have so many engineers and so much capability, and if you're going to go off and do chips for Sony or Microsoft, then that's probably a chip that you're not doing for some other portion of your business.

That statement seems a bit odd -- after all, hegemony of consoles could be a ticket for a financially struggling AMD to effectively sell tens, if not hundreds of millions of chips.

The Wii U packs an AMD GPU (blue: memory; red: stream processors; yellow: texture units).
[Image Source: Chipworks]

But NVIDIA's focus is more directed on the mobile market, where it's looking to leverage pared down versions of its GeForce GPUs beside ARM CPU cores.  NVIDIA has its work cut out for it in that market; it largely lost the last round to Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) due to its chips being too power-hungry.  

NVIDIA is focused on its mobile processor war with Qualcomm.

NVIDIA is looking to change later this year with the refresh of Tegra 4 that will include an on-die LTE modem.  Between Tegra and the development of traditional PC GPUs, NVIDIA sounds content to let AMD freely dominate the console market -- or so it says.

Source: GameSpot

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RE: Nvidia didn't have a chance...
By someguy123 on 3/15/2013 2:58:42 PM , Rating: 3
That rumor doesn't sound legitimate considering sony's normal game plan would've been to develop a proprietary solution like their past consoles.

AMD's APU most likely won out in cost effectiveness. Jaguar CPU isn't very impressive, though the GPU is pretty good on paper. With that kind of chip they could undercut discrete combinations while still providing acceptable performance. AMD doesn't seem to pull in much profit even from the sheer volume of consoles sold using AMD chips.

By Cheesew1z69 on 3/15/2013 4:46:18 PM , Rating: 2
I think Sony might be seeing that developing their own proprietary hardware isn't always the best or the least expensive. Or I hope...

By Zapp Brannigan on 3/15/2013 5:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's more to with the ps3 being a bastard to code, and that most 3rd party games run better on the 360 because developers didn't have the budget to code to the ps3's peculiarities, expecially when they would sell more copies on the 360 anyway.

By having "off the shelf" parts for both the ps4 and the 720, Sony and Microsoft will lessen developer burden, and because the ps4 will, in all likely hood, be superior on paper to the 720, maybe sony can secure 3rd party games which run and look better on their hardware, something they weren't able to do on the ps3.

you are correct about cost effectiveness tho, amd route is gonna be much cheaper then a separate intel/nvidia route, allowing sony to save money, something they really need to do atm.

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