Nvidia calls PS4 hardware 'low-end'

Nvidia compared Sony's upcoming PS4 games console to a PC with a low-end CPU and a low- to mid-range GPU. Should consumers be worried, or is Nvidia just smarting from losing the contract to rival AMD?

Image: Nvidia

Not only has chip-giant Nvidia expressed considerable relief at losing the Sony PS4 contract to rival AMD, the company has now gone on to shovel scorn onto the next-generation console, describing it as equivalent to a low- to mid-range gaming PC and not a true next-generation device.

Speaking to TechRadar, Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of content and development at Nvidia, said that the specifications of the upcoming PS4 console — a device which is built around processor and graphics technology supplied by rival AMD — leaves much to be desired.

"Compared to gaming PCs, the PS4 specs are in the neighbourhood of a low-end CPU and a low- to mid-range GPU" said Tamasi.

"If the PS4 ships in December, as Sony indicated it will only offer about half the performance of a GTX 680 GPU, which launched in March 2012, more than a year and a half ago."

There are a number of interesting takeaways and questions that arise from how verbal Nvidia is over this matter.

  • Nvidia is out to trash the PS4. Whether this is because the company is threatened by the console or actually thinks it is a bad buy remains to be seen, but either way, this is odd behavior

  • Will Nvidia trash the next-generation Xbox the same way if its hardware isn't inside the box? Nvidia is heavily reliant on Microsoft, so the company might curb its criticism

  • Nvidia lost the contract to AMD, presumably based on price. Did Nvidia want to make a better, more expensive console?

  • Was Nvidia serious about being "inside" the PS4, or was the company more interested in pursuing its Project Shield handheld console?

  • Given how GPUs have declined in relevance over the past few years, I don't think consumers care what hardware powers consoles

  • Nvidia is trying to make consumers worried about the lifespan of the PS4, distracting from the fact that the current generation of consoles have had an excellent run, far longer than a PC would

  • Nvidia is focusing on the PC GPUs, but consumer shift to mobile devices mush be worrying. Is the company future-proofing itself for the inevitable shift into the post-PC era?