Nvidia CEO: Relationship with Nintendo "will likely last two decades"

Thraktor

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Nvidia had an earnings call yesterday following their Q3 results, and in the Q&A Jen-Hsun Huang (Nvidia CEO) commented briefly about the Nintendo Switch, and I figured the comments were interesting enough to warrant a new thread. Here's what he said (taken from SeekingAlpha's transcript):

Jen-Hsun Huang said:
I guess you could also say that Nintendo contributed a fair amount to that growth. And over the next – as you know, the Nintendo architecture and the company tends to stick with an architecture for a very long time. And so we've worked with them now for almost two years. Several hundred engineering years have gone into the development of this incredible game console. I really believe when everybody sees it and enjoy it, they're going be amazed by it. It's really like nothing they've ever played with before. And of course, the brand, their franchise and their game content is incredible. And so I think this is a relationship that will likely last two decades and I'm super excited about it.
A few notes:

- The question asked was about the increased revenues of Nvidia's gaming division, so when he says "Nintendo contributed a fair amount to that growth", that's what he's referring to. Gaming revenue was up by $463 million over the last quarter, although what constitutes "a fair amount" of that is anyone's guess. This could be R&D/consulting payments on completion of tape-out, or it could be an initial payment for the first batch of chips.

- The fact that Nvidia are including Nintendo's business in their Gaming division, rather than their IP licensing division, would indicate that Nvidia are handling manufacturing and selling the final chips to Nintendo, rather than Nintendo licensing the design and handling manufacturing themselves (which was their arrangement with AMD for Wii U's GPU).

- Working with Nintendo for "almost two years" means design work on Switch's SoC likely started at the end of 2014/start of 2015. That would seem like a pretty typical timescale for a custom chip like this.

- The "several hundred engineering years" re-states what was in Nvidia's initial press release (which afaik claimed 500 engineering man-years).

This last bit is speculation on my part, but when he says "over the next" and then cuts off to talk about Nintendo using the same architecture for a long time, I get the impression that Nvidia already has contracts for future Nintendo hardware that he's trying not to talk about. Claiming that the relationship will last "two decades" is also pretty confident even for Huang, and I have a feeling that this is further evidence that Switch is the start of the "family of systems" which Iwata talked about, all revolving around ARM/Nvidia SoCs and a common software platform.
 

cw_sasuke

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Expected - future Switch devices will be based on the current architecture to maintain full BC to previous generations and hardware.
 

Ploid 3.0

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I wonder how the Switch upgrades will go. Switch Pocket, Switch Ultra, Switch 2s, Switch Edge.
 

georly

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Exciting times ahead. Hope switch is successful and that continued support for future portable systems mean that more people can play 'console-level' games wherever they are. Hope this means forward compatibility, too.
 

MrCunningham

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As long as Nvidia continue to develop newer versions of Tegra, I can believe it. Nintendo are done with AMD and IBM as they are not interested in developing traditional consoles anymore. They've been using ARM since the Game Boy Advance, and the Nvidia + ARM combination of Tegra is perfect for Nintendo going forward.
 

James Scott

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I believe one of the earliest NVIDIA x Nintendo rumors for NX stated that Nintendo got a pretty good deal off of it. If they believed it would last them decades then it'll likely pay off eventually.
 

Kieli

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Unless nVIDIA poisons the well like they did with Sony on the RSX and MS with the original Xbox.
 

viHuGi

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Hopefully not another Ps3 situation, still remember Nvidia praising Sony on e3 and saying it was a great partnership and that helped them build the world fastest gpu that would bring Movie quality graphics to game consoles at 60 frames per second.

Didn't went well though.
 

Anth0ny

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Cool.

Cause after the Switch fails, Nintendo will go back to making traditional consoles, with the next one featuring the equivalent of an Nvidia GTX Titan X graphics card.
 

Doctre81

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Sounds like Nvidia is excited for Switch which is a great thing. Probably gonna get a lot more bang for our buck than once believed.
 

Neoxon

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Cool.

Cause after the Switch fails, Nintendo will go back to making traditional consoles, with the next one featuring the equivalent of an Nvidia GTX Titan X graphics card.
A bit soon to assume that the Switch will be a failure, don't you think?

Either way, Nintendo did say that they wanted to have a more unified architecture for future hardware, so sticking with Nvidia going forward makes sense.
 

oti

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Cool.

Cause after the Switch fails, Nintendo will go back to making traditional consoles, with the next one featuring the equivalent of an Nvidia GTX Titan X graphics card.
If the Switch fails, Nintendo will exit the hardware business.
 
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Sounds like Nvidia is excited for Switch which is a great thing. Probably gonna get a lot more bang for our buck than once believed.
This. Nvidia must be really proud of this thing, so maybe they'll be the ones to release in-depth specs on it prior to release (because we know Nintendo will do no such thing on their own).
 

MrCunningham

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Cool.

Cause after the Switch fails, Nintendo will go back to making traditional consoles, with the next one featuring the equivalent of an Nvidia GTX Titan X graphics card.
If they went the traditional console route again, I doubt that they would throw crazy specs at it. They would probably use an overclocked 8-core ARM CPU with a mid class Nvidia solution. I think Nintendo is moving to ARM for long term backwards compatibility.
 

J@hranimo

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Cool.

Cause after the Switch fails, Nintendo will go back to making traditional consoles, with the next one featuring the equivalent of an Nvidia GTX Titan X graphics card.
Just had to get the crazy post in here eh? :)

...

This is intriguing. I guess that SemiAccurate article might have been pretty accurate regarding a good deal? We'll have to see in due time. Looking forward to what comes of this long-term partnership.
 

jstripes

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Two decades?

That's optimistic.

Honestly, and I say this as someone who loves game consoles, the era of the dedicated console isn't gonna last even one more decade.
 

Anth0ny

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Just had to get the crazy post in here eh? :)
Always!

If they went the traditional console route again, I doubt that they would throw crazy specs at it. They would probably use an overclocked 8-core ARM CPU with a mid class Nvidia solution. I think Nintendo is moving to ARM for long term backwards compatibility.
To be fair, a Titan X in 2022 probably wouldn't be that crazy :p
 

LegendofLex

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Honestly, and I say this as someone who loves game consoles, the era of the dedicated console isn't gonna last even one more decade.
They'll last for the same reason that PCs are.

And they'll continue to decline for the same reason that PCs are.
 
Two decades?

That's optimistic.

Honestly, and I say this as someone who loves game consoles, the era of the dedicated console isn't gonna last even one more decade.
I think what he's trying to imply is that Nintendo intends to just use iterative versions of their Tegra SoC for the foreseeable future, but yes, certainly if they leave hardware, then that won't happen anymore.
 

tiredheadcrab

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Sounds like Nintendo is making similar moves to MS in terms of Xbox being a platform, so will Switch. So basically I buy my VC games once and they will work on future Nintendo hardware. I like this idea.
 

Peru

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Two decades?

That's optimistic.

Honestly, and I say this as someone who loves game consoles, the era of the dedicated console isn't gonna last even one more decade.
Dedicated consoles will go on for as long as the human race still games. Be it an 'era' or otherwise, there will always be a market for dedicated gaming consoles.
 

KingSnake

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Once Nintendo chose Tegra as the basis for their new architecture and with the declared score of building an ecosystem around one platform from now on it was pretty course that this collaboration is meant to be for the long term unless Nintendo leaves the hardware business.

It's nice to see Nvidia so enthusiastic about Switch, maybe even more than Nintendo.

Also, Nintendo contributing to the gaming income lends credence to that rumour speculation about Nvidia having a big fab contract with TMSC that they were trying to get rid of and that driving a good deal for Nintendo.
 

jaypah

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Or Nintendo crosses them
"Today we would like to announce our new product with AMD, The Nintendo Change".

Then Nvidia goes on to develope the Fun Center console on their own and sells 150 million units.
 

Quasar

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As long as Nvidia continue to develop newer versions of Tegra, I can believe it. Nintendo are done with AMD and IBM as they are not interested in developing traditional consoles anymore. They've been using ARM since the Game Boy Advance, and the Nvidia + ARM combination of Tegra is perfect for Nintendo going forward.
Guess this will keep tegra alive then, given no-one else cares.
 

MrCunningham

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Always!



To be fair, a Titan X in 2022 probably wouldn't be that crazy :p
Oh, well I thought you meant next-gen versions of the Titan X. But yeah, current Titan X's in 2020 will be kinda meh.


Guess this will keep tegra alive then, given no-one else cares.
Yeah, unfortunately. This is also what happened to IBM's PowerPC line, Nintendo was the only one left keeping it alive. Though in this case Tegra being 'less popular' isn't really that big of an issue as it is still just an ARM CPU housed with an NVidia graphics core. I could even see Nvidia design Tegra chips just for Nintendo if they pulled them out of retail.
 
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Honestly, and I say this as someone who loves game consoles, the era of the dedicated console isn't gonna last even one more decade.
In my opinion, the driving concept behind the Switch is more future-friendly than the traditional tv-box home console. Home consoles CAN theoretically merge into the PC space, or lose market share to it, although that's probably less likely than most people think. But the greatest threat to something like the Switch isn't really any existing tech, it's Nintendo's ability to actually deliver on the concept.

Nvidia seems to think this is a worthwhile business venture, and will remain so for a good length of time. That should say a lot.
 

OrbitalBeard

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Two decades?

That's optimistic.

Honestly, and I say this as someone who loves game consoles, the era of the dedicated console isn't gonna last even one more decade.
Dedicated game consoles aren't going anywhere. They'll simply evolve.

I mean, the Switch is a pretty good example of that.
 

Mechazawa

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Gotta imagine Nintendo got a sweetheart deal from Nvidia after MS/Sony jumped ship from their ass.
 

bomblord1

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Idk why but the way he's talking about it makes me think it will indeed be powerful.

Specifically the "amazing console" and "everyone will be amazed by it" parts