Shadows Of The Past: NVIDIA Selling GPUs at Best Buy

Shadows Of The Past: NVIDIA Selling GPUs at Best Buy

In a surprising turn of events, NVIDIA-built graphics cards have begun popping up at Best Buy stores across the nation. This is decidedly odd for a company that's made billions of dollars designing GPU products while leveraging board partners to bear the cost of manufacturing and marketing them, but NVIDIA confirmed that this new Best Buy partnership is a new direction for the company.

"NVIDIA and Best Buy are working together to offer PC customers the opportunity to experience firsthand the latest in PC technologies right inside Best Buy stores," a company representative said. "As part of this broad initiative, NVIDIA is supplying to Best Buy specific GeForce models built and supported by NVIDIA. These products will only be available at Best Buy and will complement GeForce products from our partners.  We will provide more details on this next week."



This is a tremendous shift for the GPU designer, even if NVIDIA keeps its retail channel participation small. The move will inevitably be compared to what's viewed as a critical mistake by vanished titan 3dfx. Eleven years ago, near the height of its strength, 3dfx announced it would launch its own retail products instead of licensing its technology to a variety of third-party manufacturers. Faced with the prospect of competing against their own designer, GPU manufacturers jumped ship en masse for NVIDIA. A few years later ATI, which had previously handled all its own manufacturing, arranged its own exit from that market and began licensing its designs as NVIDIA does.

NVIDIA has undoubtedly secured a great many sound bites and PR statements affirming the mutual love and respect that exist between itself and its partners even now that the company is partnering with Best Buy. Such statements won't be worth the paper they're printed on if NV's Best Buy retail channel starts eating into the profits of other companies. The more money NVIDIA makes from its own sales, the less incentive it'll have to treat other companies as first-tier solution providers. We won't be surprised if former NVIDIA-only OEMs suddenly become more receptive to ATI overtures. 
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Hum, so will nivida fall because of this? there doesn't wall ways have to be a competition between partners :) Let nivida do their thing and partners do theirs, its not like they aren't licensing stuff to them anymore. won't it be kinda like hte same competition as it is not with different nividia manufactures.

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BestBuy is always overpriced this cannot be good for sales IMO. I see prices being 30% over retail.

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And don't forget that NVIDIA's partners offer plenty of additional features to include over-clocked, super-clocked, and wazoo-ass-clocked cards. They've designed better coolers than the reference design calls for too. They give games and other cool stuff away with their cards.

And lastly, they don't deserve to be treated like this by their supplier. This goes against the game as they knew it and it stinks a little.

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I'm kinda with realneil on this one. It seems like a crappy way to treat your partners. BB is way overpriced, but lets not forget that they sell a HUGE number of cards and they had a gap in the Nvidia arena because BFG was the sole provider to BB for a long time. I would be a little miffed if I was trying to get that deal and my supplier snatched it out from under me.

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Wow, now thats gonna be really cool I think. Amazing.

www.be-anon.net.tc

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Is NVIDIA going to fall because of this? No. The situation now is much different than it was 11 years ago, and 3dfx wasn't destroyed *just* because it chose to compete against its own former partners.

It's safe to say NV's partners aren't happy about this turn of events. There's probably been saber-rattling over ATI partnerships; we might even see some shifts because of it. But it's not going to fundamentally alter the balance of power.

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If any thing this will spur the NV partners to give us the buyer more, such as faster cards or more games for the price of their cards vs the Nvidia cards. I think this will be a good thing. I know I would much rather have an Evga card then a Nvidia card. 

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