NVIDIA's outlook for 1999 is increasingly confusing. STB, Nvidia's biggest OEM partner was recently acquired by their biggest competition, 3Dfx. With a major portion of Nvidia's business coming from STB, the question of alternative buyers is raised. Not only did Nvidia lose a major partner, but the indicators on the board making side of the market are quite alarming.
Nvidia's major partners can be counted on one hand. For the TNT rollout, STB,Diamond and Creative were the first major companies to produce and ship TNT based video cards. Now, it seems doubtful that even two of these companies will ship a TNT-2 product or even future products from Nvidia.
There is a myriad of small companies that produce TNT boards like Genoa Systems Corp. and Canopus, but they will not deliver the quantity or via the channels that are enjoyed by the likes of Diamond and Creative.
Who will be the biggest gainers It is obvious that someone stands to gain from all the confusion in the market. If ATI can back up its hardware with solid drivers, they might have a chance to musle their way into the market while we wait for someone to pick up all the slack left by STB/3Dfx.
3Dfx may also gain here, where they will be one of the few companies that have a solid name and the manufacturing capacity to back up any demand they may face.
This means that companies like Nvidia, wich doesn't have its own board plant, will be fiercely competing with the likes of Rendition, Intel and others for the remainig market share.