Yikes! Nvidia's CEO Doesn't Care About Gamers

12 Jun 2024

Nvidia has become successful. So successful, in fact, that it does not care about alienating an entire demographic that was core to its success.

This was underscored at the recent Computex event in Taiwan where the CEOs of three most prominent silicon companies (Nvidia's included) took to the stage to discuss new products and their future road map. And if you're a gamer, boy, was it depressing.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang's two-hour long presentation was only artificial intelligence focused, to the point that it got boring and irked many who were hoping to learn more about the company's gaming-focused hardware.

As TechRadar's John Loeffler put it, Huang dismissed the very same GeForce graphic cards that put the company on the map all those decades ago. This was corroborated by Hardware Unboxed's Steve Walton, who described the keynote address' overall vibe as one where Nvidia wanted to distance itself from the "silliness of gaming" and be taken seriously as a data-center type company instead.

So why the shift?

Nvidia's most recent quarterly results showed that the data center segment, which sells the hardware powering the world's generative AI tools, made roughly nine times more money than the gaming division ($22.6 billion vs. $2.6 billion).

In fact, the data center segment contributed 86% towards the company's record revenue ($26.04 billion) this past quarter, compared to a measly 10% by the gaming segment. So Huang's just doubling down on what's working for the business.

What's quite bothersome is that because Nvidia is the market leader,  Intel and AMD have no choice but to follow the trends set by Team Green — so of course, both companies also spent a considerable amount of time talking about their plans for profiting off of that sweet, sweet AI pie. But not without whetting the appetites of eager gamers with some product announcements.

Despite holding next to no market share in the GPU market, Intel isn't giving up on the hardware that powers video games and AI workloads. After weeks of leaks and speculation, the company finally gave its first glimpse of the architecture that would power its next generation of graphic cards.

Codenamed Battlemage, the upcoming graphic cards are designed to be more efficient than the earlier Alchemist variants, which, "if realized, [..] would rectify a major usability shortcoming of Alchemist," GamersNexus wrote in a blog post.

For those that did not follow Intel's attempts at creating discrete GPUs, the Alchemist cards were plagued with driver issues that made them a hard sell for reviewers. The only reason the likes of Linus Tech Tips recommended the card was to encourage competition in the space.

The Alchemist cards fare much better today than when they launched — thanks to driver-side improvements from Intel — but are still a hard sell.

Which brings us to AMD.

Team Red is the underdog in both the GPU and CPU markets, losing out to Nvidia on graphic cards, and Intel on central processors (though that seems to be changing).

Competing on both fronts is obviously not easy (or cheap!), but the company has seen a massive turn around under the leadership of Lisa Su — going from holding 1.4% of the CPU market share in 2017 to a respectable 23.6% at the end of 2022. The company also holds 12% of the GPU market, which might not sound like a lot, but does offer a bit of competition to Nvidia which dominates the market.

So, what is Team Red doing to be more of a contender in the market? For starters, the company announced its next line of processors at Computex. The AMD Ryzen 9000-series chips are supposedly going to be 15% faster than their predecessors, but we'll have to wait for the reviews to roll in to know for sure (15% doesn't really sound like a lot, if I'm being honest).

Not a lot on GPUs though; the company's 7-series cards were pretty 'meh', and with Nvidia not actually offering any details on the 50-series cards, AMD probably didn't feel the need to share any details on what to expect next.

Apart from these three companies, there was a lot of chatter about Qualcomm, the maker of Snapdragon chips that power mobile devices. Apparently, the company expects its processors to power roughly 50% of Windows PC devices within the next five years.

That's a bold claim, but has a lot to do with a recent Microsoft announcement about a new class of Windows computers designed just for AI: Copilot+ PCs.

Those PCs will be powered using Qualcomm's Snapdragon X processors, which is supposedly designed to handle AI workflows, and is thus better at it.

Anyway, that was your Computex recap.

Nvidia ranked #1 on HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings this week.

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In Other News.. 📰

  • Bitcoin Mining Stocks Soar Amid Takeover Frenzy — via CoinDesk
  • Apple needs to focus on making AI useful, not flashy — via TechCrunch
  • Nvidia’s CEO is given the rockstar treatment in AI-powerhouse Taiwan — via CNN
  • Microsoft unveils all-digital Xbox consoles, 'Doom' title at Games Showcase — via Reuters
  • Retailers can't keep scammers away from their favorite payment form: gift cards — via Axios
  • Amazon, Best Buy, Google may soon sell home smart devices with ‘hacker-safe’ label — via CNBC

And that's a wrap! Don't forget to share this newsletter with your family and friends! See y'all next week. PEACE! ☮️

Sheharyar Khan, Editor, Business Tech @ HackerNoon

*All rankings are current as of Monday. To see how the rankings have changed, please visit HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings page.*Tech, What the Heck!? is a once-weekly newsletter written by HackerNoon editors that combine HackerNoon's proprietary data with news-worthy tech stories from around the internet. Humorous and insightful, the newsletter recaps trending events that are shaping the world of tech. Subscribe here.*