Ook bij Tom's Hardware Guide hebben ze een Comdex verslag online geplant. Ze hebben de aandacht vooral gericht op 3dfx, nVidia en ATi. Check de hele verhaaltjes hier.
So, where's the pressure going to come from now? First of all, the VSA-100 isn't ready yet. 3dfx has yet to get first silicon so, the company has a long way to go before it can be competitive in terms of performance and features. On paper, it's move towards a set of multi-chip high-end consumer boards is daring, but it could have a big payoff. If the company only manages to convince its existing fan base to upgrade to the Voodoo5 it will do very well in the coming eighteen months. On the other hand, the company is also betting that the gaming community is going to want to pay the price of its high-end offerings. The Voodoo5 6000 is going to cost greater than $500. It's a very strong play for the enthusiast market, but if any company can pull it off, it's 3dfx.
Michael Howse has other concerns. He wants to leverage the 3dfx brand, and distribution channels to bring in non-graphics hardware and technologies. Already, the relationship with InterAct has helped to create a 3dfx inspired game pad for the PC market. There may be more of the same kind of thing happening in the future. While I believe that 3dfx would do well to extend itself and its engineering expertise to incorporate other gaming peripherals, I do have some concern about the company becoming a label for other people's technologies. Can a graphics company be an input company, or an audio company, or a communications company? In some cases, yes, but it is a very difficult transition technically, culturally, and most organizations find themselves stretched too thin. However, 3dfx seems to want to be an entertainment technology company so, in that regard, it has a better chance than most. A lot will depend on how it builds up its gaming product lines, beyond graphics, and whether the company can bring in an operation oriented CEO who can ensure that the company can be an effective manufacturer in the retail peripherals market.
My greatest concern for 3dfx has to do with content. I am entirely convinced that the company needs to have a content strategy that should, or could, involve the creation, as well as distribution, of gaming content. Scott and Michael assured me that they have an Internet strategies that addresses my content concerns. I am not sure what it is, but I think there is a chasm in front of 3dfx and that only an effective content strategy will help them to cross it. A few months ago that chasm was the gamers that love the company. 3dfx would either have to jettison them to get the OEM market it needed to compete in the full graphics arena, or it would have to embrace them completely. It seems that the company chosen to embrace them, and now, the chasm needs content to fill it. This just may make 3dfx fun again. I am eager to see how things turn out in the next six months. I have been consistent in my criticism of the company's past business strategies and posturing. This is all or nothing time, and I'd like to think good things can come of it for the company.