Nvidia: Small PCs Will Compete with Next-Gen Consoles


Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One might be soaking up all the headlines right now in the gaming world, but GPU-maker Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) wants gamers to know that the PC still deserves attention as the “superior” alternative to the next-gen consoles.

Nvidia’s consumer sales manager, Matt Wright, told MCV late last week that the company is planning a new series of smaller living room-based PCs that it believes will be a viable alternative for mainstream gamers. ”We are proposing small form-factor PCs to be a viable alternative to the next-gen consoles,” Wright told the website, adding that the goal is to make PC platforms that are less complicated for average users.

“The PC platform is far superior to any console when it comes to gaming, plus you get all the extra functionality that a computer brings,” he said. “Steam now has more users than Xbox Live.”

Of course, Wright’s statements could be seen as a case of sour grapes considering that rival GPU-maker AMD (NYSE:AMD) is the provider of the processor in both the Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One. Sony’s PS4 runs a semi-custom 8-core AMD x86-64 CPU; Microsoft’s Xbox One features a custom 1.75 GHz AMD 8 core APU. But Wright’s statements do bring a revival to the discussions over the past several years as to whether a PC, gaming or not, can successfully become a living room mainstay.

The idea isn’t exactly a new one. Valve Corp.’s entry to the console landscape, rumored for years, finally became a reality in late September when it announced the Steam Machine — a $499 console (again powered by AMD) that proved underwhelming to many onlookers who believed it could shakeup the console industry. Still, if Nvidia could find a way to get PCs into the living room in the same way that smart TVs have now become standard, it’s not difficult to imagine that it could be the kind of industry-wide shakeup that many people believed the Steam Machine would be.

“There is a whole new generation who grew up playing on PC with titles like Minecraft or World of Tanks,” said Wright. “There’s a huge community who love playing their games on PC.”

Investing Insights: Where Will Hewlett-Packard Go Post-Earnings?