In a recent interview
, San Jose Mercury News journalist Dean Takahashi spoke with Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang regarding a variety of topics, not the least of which concerned his thoughts on the company's focus, its entry into the video game market with the Xbox, as well as the executive's feelings regarding the PlayStation 3.
Looking back at Nvidia's relationship with Microsoft in developing chips for the original Xbox, Huang commented that he always felt that Nvidia's work in the video game console market was “inevitable.”
“We invest $750 million a year in R&D in graphics processing,” said Huang. “No other company invests that much in graphics processing today. This is such an incredibly deep technology and there is so much more to do. It makes sense that in the long-term we would work on game consoles as well.”
Focusing on the PlayStation 3, specifically regarding Huang's thoughts on Nvidia's choice to develop chips for and support Sony's upcoming next-generation console platform, he simply commented that no company “has enough extraneous resources around to build chips for all the game consoles,” and that due to the high stakes involved with the video game console market, a company like Nvidia must maintain its focus.
“Sony picked us and Microsoft didn't,” he added. “I don't think that working with Sony is wrong. There is no way that is going to be wrong. There are many wonderful things that Sony did. I'm excited that they made Blu-ray high-definition storage as a standard part of the PlayStation 3 platform.”
When asked approached on his thoughts on the price of the PlayStation 3 console, which expected to ship in November at a cost upwards of $599, Huang seemed undaunted, noting that the PlayStation 2 launched in Japan in 2000 for $399. “If you use inflation, it's the same price, approximately,” he noted. “The important thing is you cannot announce a game console for the next ten years and not have Blu-Ray. It's an impossible scenario. I think they got that perspective right. The moment we put those consoles together it's going to be very clear. If I'm going to buy a next-generation game console, I'm going to buy a console with next-generation media. It's going to last 10 years.”
Finally, regarding the company's focus, the Nvidia executive noted that the firm's primary goal remains to “advance the GPU.” Huang added: “We don't participate in all parts of the PC industry. We focus on market niches where we can add value. In the other markets, we are connected to the PowerPC/Cell microprocessor in the PlayStation 3. In handhelds, we are connected to SH microprocessors, Arm microprocessors. For embedded applications, we are connected to PowerPCs and what not. Our focus is the GPU. With respect to the CPU, we try to be as agnostic as we can. We focus on the marketplace.”