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Nvidia Credits AMD for Unifying Game Development

During the Nvidia’s “Power of 10” event, Jen-Hsun Huang, Co-founder and CEO of Nvidia Corporation talked about the positive shift in mentality for game developers. Game development in the past segmented resources between consoles and PCs, often resulting in sub-par experiences on the more powerful hardware. PC-focused eSports today have an audience of over 300 million viewers, easily rivaling or even beating more established ‘real’ sports. In 2013, the situation for PC gaming was rather grim.

The arrival of new, AMD powered consoles brought the x86 architecture back to Microsoft (Intel x86, IBM PowerPC, AMD x86), and marked the third architectural change for Sony (SGI MIPS, IBM PowerPC, AMD x86). More importantly, that shift created a single installed user base and a single total addressable market (TAM).

Current batch of consoles are equal to PCs

On the slide above, you can see that Nvidia believes 2016 will have a single installed base of over 150 million gaming systems that game developers should to target for their future titles. Even more importantly, PC platform is seeing its growth outstripping the consoles which are bound to get even more fragmented after Sony launches the “PlayStation Neo”. Coming in the fall Sony PlayStation Neo, or PlayStation 4.5 is a brand new console, backwards compatible with PlayStation 4, featuring a 14nm x86 processor and Polaris graphics architecture.

While Nvidia is currently the largest benefactor of AMD’s effort, the situation on the market is bound to get more complicated, as the “Power of 10” still doesn’t support Asynchronous Compute, while Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Neo and all Radeon gaming cards from 2013 “Hawaii” GPU architecture onward. Still, if you are a game developer and not thinking about VR or eSports, you’re missing the boat in a big way. The development platform is all but unified and you can practically run the same code and architectures (Vulkan, OpenGL) on all three major gaming platforms. Capturing just 1% of that market is over 1.5 million copies sold.

Thus, whenever you see an article mentioning ‘the death of’ anything, just disregard it as a misinformed chatter.

  • franzius

    Sorry Theo, I am such a bad reader, I must have glossed over the part where NVIDIA actually ‘credited’ AMD for anything. Maybe you are reading too much into what J-H H said. It is not in their business plans to credit AMD for anything. Period.

    • AS118

      They didn’t state anything overtly, but they did talk about AMD’s accomplishments while trying very carefully not to mention how it’s all thanks to AMD that it happened.

      All this says to me is that competition is good for the consumer, and I hope that AMD gains more marketshare vs. NVidia and Intel. I don’t want Intel / Vidia to be a PC gaming monopoly. Last thing we need is Comcast-like “We’re raising prices and lowering quality BECAUSE.”

      • Paul17041993

        ironically, an int+nvid monopoly would benefit the consoles, in turn benefiting AMD. However those of us who still want our high power PCs will suffer…

    • No CEO of a company is going to mention a competitor directly. We’re way past Pat Gelsinger’s and Otellini’s “Bin of Obsolete Technology”, trashing down an Opteron processor and a motherboard at IDF. But, AMD did unify the designs Nvidia could not win anymore, as bridges were burned with both Sony and Microsoft.

      • RV

        NVidia could not win a console design as it both Microsoft and Sony wanted SOC IGP not discrete graphics. They went to Intel but Intel would not provide the IGP they wanted and obviously Intel would not marry an NVidia gpu to an Intel x86 chip. That would take years and NVidia would likely never go for it.
        Both Sony and Microsoft also had a better API that which of course worked nicely with what AMD was doing with Mantle.
        In short Intel and NVidia were never a serious contender for the console market; they could not provide the IGP for less than $125 per copy, in fact it was probably far less.

        • Ace66696

          “Both Sony and Microsoft also had a better API that which of course worked nicely with what AMD was doing with Mantle.”

          Vulkan and DX12 are build on Mantle SOURCE CODE

          • RV

            DX12 and Mantle were likely co-developed while Microsoft was working with AMD to design the Xbox APU. Sony also used a better API to run in their FreeBD OS. All this happened at the same time.
            What is your point? Nobody will know for certain exactly if Mantle spawned DX12 or if they were twin sons of different mothers.
            But does it really matter? What is important is Microsoft was forced to release DX12 when AMD released Mantle.
            Another nail in NVidia’s coffin was it’s unwillingness to open source it’s proprietary libraries. Those libraries were essential as games began to get increasingly complex and of course Microsoft wanted better performance in it’s console without having to deal with NVidia’s intransigence regarding Gameworks.
            In DX 11 was likely maintained as long as it was simply to keep the advantage with NVidia.
            What nobody except ATI foresaw even before they engineered the takeover by AMD, was the need for high performance API one that could demonstrate draw-call performance 100x greater than DX11. This is where libraries actually slow down the rendering rather than speed it up.
            The point of this piece was not about DX12, Mantle or Vulkan but rather why NVidia and Intel were both locked out fo the console market.
            NVidia was never asked to the dance.

  • AS118

    Yeah I thought it was funny that Jen-Hsun went on and on about how it’s great that consoles and PC are all on the same x86 architecture for the first time, and how it’ll lead to both better efficiency and optimization and therefore power for games while curiously not mentioning AMD once.

    Even though it’s thanks to AMD’s hard work that the Xbox, PS4, and probably the new Nintendo NX are all going to be on AMD’s x86 APU ranges.

    • franzius

      Thanks for the clarification.

    • Hectoron

      Nintendo NX might not be x86 after all…
      AMD GPU but not x86…..or vice versa.

      But whatever of the two, both part will not be AMD- maximum 1

      • brandon9271

        You don’t know that. The people who do aren’t talking. It could have an AMD APU or a Tegra or God knows what.

  • Prince Chèn

    I’m glad what AMD has done also. Theoretically it should make it easier to port games from consoles to PC and to develop games for both without a lot of effort as before. Before games had to either be created from the ground up for each platform, or ported over to the PC from consoles and those ports saw a huge hit in performance. Still today it isn’t perfect, but it’s moving forward. What NVIDIA should focus more on right now is their drivers. They have really bad drivers, I’m speaking from experience. I own a GTX 970, and I’m on a driver from a month ago, or 4 driver releases ago. In certain games the new drivers make my system act as though I am using something worse than Intel HD graphics to play my games, never had that issue with AMD. Asynchronous Compute also is a big factor moving forward into the DirectX 12 era, and I can’t believe it isn’t supported by the 10 series supposedly. Graphics cards that are comparable to AMD in DirectX 12 applications have shown that AMD has the better performance.

  • Hussein Jama Hussein

    Good, this is what I want to see out of consoles. And this is great for Nvidia as well because its now easy for Nvidia to release their next mobile tegra soc for consoles with relatively no hassel.

    • RV

      Tegra is ARM RISC core NOT x86-64. The whole point of this piece is how a common platform is great for gaming.

      Then you comment how good this is for Tegra?

      Tegra was a failure. But it’s NVidias’ only SOC.

      However you have to admire NVidia for vertically integrating Tegra and competing directly with the small tablet makers. Tegra as a Tablet gaming chip went nowhere. I am not saying that it’s a bad chip, just nobody really wants it. Google bought in simply because they wanted their own brand. Not a rebranded Samsung or LG Tablet. Tegra offers no advantage really and it isn’t fabbed at the quantities that other tablet silicon is. In short that drives up cost and lowers margin.

      And its NOT x86-64.

  • RV

    Asynchronous Compute is AMD hardware IP. NVidia may find a way to emulate that with drivers but not hardware. So far we see how the driver emulation is working out.
    ACE will be used more and often as developers become more sophisticated using GCN and DX12 coding.

  • Harvey Chox

    even nvidia know amd are the future for the industry

    maby finally nvidiots will realise this too

  • Maximilian

    “as the “Power of 10” still doesn’t support Asynchronous Compute”

  • Shamz

    I guess Nvidia emulated this credit, because I sure don’t see it anywhere.

  • Daniel Anderson

    “featuring a 14nm x86 processor and Polaris graphics architecture.”

    Jaguar is in use on both xbox and ps4 @ 28 nm. They’re able to overclock it slightly due to the new, more efficient, GPU (Less heat output).