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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.

Wii U GPU
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 epobirs on 3/16/2013 4:23:45 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, AMD is seeking to grab some market in the tablet field with their ATOM and ARM competitor line. So it isn't for lack of trying.

Supplying the console market isn't a high margin business but it can be a critical cash flow asset to sustain the company while seeking more lucrative products.

And heavy presence in desktop and laptop markets? Compared to AMD? Nvidia does not produce x86/64 CPUs nor are they in the motherboard chip set business anymore. Nvidia has a strong presence in PC GPUs and little else of the PC sector.


RE: Nvidia didn't have a chance...
By Amiga500 on 3/16/2013 5:36:08 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Supplying the console market isn't a high margin business but it can be a critical cash flow asset to sustain the company while seeking more lucrative products.


But it means that the vast majority of games will be coded around AMD's GPU µarchitecture. That will bring benefits in terms of relative efficiency on the PC GPUs.

It effectively completely undercuts Nvidia's "The Way Its Meant To Be Played" program.


By CeriseCogburn on 3/18/2013 10:26:02 AM , Rating: 1

Since the code is HARDWARE run in the consoles, it's entirely different than on desktops, integrated or discrete, so what you say just isn't true.
It offers no advantage whatsoever.


"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs














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