Vince van Extreme Hardware heeft op z'n frontpage een interessant stukje tekst over de toekomst van NVIDIA neergekwakt. Na de fusie tussen STB en 3dfx en de fusie tussen S3 en Diamond is NVIDIA de enige grote zelfstandige videochipbakker die overgebleven is. NVIDIA bevindt zich hierdoor in een redelijk flexe positie, aangezien het z'n chipjes nu bijna exclusief kan afzetten bij de grote videokaartfabrikanten zoals Creative, Guillemot, Elsa en Asus:
In today's world, 3dfx and S3 are making their own cards, and NVIDIA is the veritable "last man standing". Now that the other main players have cut off their supply of 3D chips (and Videologic seems content to produce the Neon 250 cards), NVIDIA is in the driver's seat, with large companies like Creative Labs, Guillemot, Acer, Leadtek and ASUS beating down the door for GeForce 256 chips. With the supply of viable 3D chips firmly in their corner, NVIDIA has all the power and is free to make chip allocation deals, cultivate and maintain vendor relationships, and price their new chips according to market demand. OEM deals are also a bit weighted towards NVIDIA, since they have more companies out there trying to sign deals. If they're charging $25 a chip, I don't think they really care if it's Creative Labs, ELSA or Guillemot that makes the deal with Compaq.
Another area that this approach has its benefits is in the retail sector. Check out a PC store and see what's on the video card shelves; the Voodoo3's, maybe one or two Savage4 cards, along with quite a few TNT2 and TNT2 Ultra boards. This can create the illusion of greater market penetration and industry influence for the general consumer. It also serves the purpose of creating a card for every market. There are inexpensive 16 MB TNT2 boards, 32 MB TNT2 for those with more cash, and the TNT2 Ultra boards for the high-end market. Between these 3 zones there are differing TNT2 solutions in both multimedia features (like the ELSA 3D glasses), game bundles and other extras that help separate each card from the competition. 3dfx and S3 would have to pump out a dizzying array of variants to match the level of TNT2/TNT2 Ultra differentiation, and NVIDIA didn't spend a cent developing or marketing any of these products.