The PlayStation 4 game console was a surprise in several ways, but mainly because of the processing and graphics hardware, and now we finally have a clear reason for why Advanced Micro Devices struck so much gold.
Sure, Sony's PlayStation game console business hasn't been doing all that great over the past years, but it is still one of the prime representatives of the gaming industry.
That AMD scored the processing deal instead of Intel was already surprising enough, but for NVIDIA to have no stake in the console was even more so.
After all, the Santa Clara, California-based company was the one that served both the Microsoft Xbox 360 and the Sony PlayStation 3.
Sure, NVIDIA ported PhysX and APEX SDK support to PS4, but game makers won't really draw much benefit from them when Advanced Micro Devices is the one making the chips, and is bound to provide its own software developer kits.
Now, thanks to GameSpot, we know why NVIDIA passed on Sony PlayStation 4: money. Or rather an insufficient amount of it.
“[NVIDIA] came to the conclusion [that it] didn’t want to do the business at the price those guys were willing to pay,” according to Toni Tamasi, senior vice president of content and technology at NVIDIA.
NVIDIA sees the entire console business, not just PS4, as an opportunity cost instead of a strong source of revenue.
Thus, while it will probably lose the next-generation Xbox to AMD as well, it won't lose any sleep over it.
According to Tamasi, the GPU and mobile SoC maker is “building a whole bunch of stuff” like Project SHIELD. In other words, NVIDIA is concentrating on its own products instead of adding to those of others. If the mini-console catches on, the corporation may go that final step further and release a full-size console in direct competition with Xbox and PS.