Microsoft books ATI for Xbox 2 chipset gig – report

Bye-bye, Nvidia

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Microsoft has dropped Nvidia in favour of the graphics chip maker's arch-rival, ATI, as the provider of the graphics technology to be incorporated into its as yet unannounced next-generation Xbox console.

So says a report on Internet gaming-oriented web site Spong, citing "senior development sources in the UK".

Certainly Microsoft and Nvidia haven't had any easily relationship during the life of the current Xbox. The highly competitive and price-sensitive nature of the console market required Microsoft to be flexible on price. Nvidia is believed to have been decidedly inflexible when it came to helping the software giant achieve its pricing goals. Microsoft wanted to pay less for its chips than originally agreed, but Nvidia (quite understandably) stuck to its guns.

If the Spong report is correct - and neither side has chosen to comment beyond the usual 'we don't discuss rumours' - the two companies' quarrel has proved too much, and Microsoft has decided to look elsewhere for a partner to deliver Xbox 2 graphics and support chipsets.

But more prosaic reasons may lie behind the decision - if such as decision has been taken. ATI has a Pentium 4 bus licence from Intel; Nvidia does not. Microsoft would undoubtedly be looking at a more advanced CPU for Xbox 2 than the current console's Pentium III, and the P4 is a logical step up.

If there is an ATI connection, then that would seem to preclude the use of an AMD chip, for which Nvidia would be the most logical partner thanks to its nForce expertise. Indeed, the current Xbox's chipset is essentially an nForce geared to work with a PIII.

ATI is nevertheless a problematic partner for Microsoft as it is already Nintendo's chosen graphics contributor for the next-generation GameCube. Or is that a problem? Spong suggests that Nintendo and Microsoft are natural allies against market leader Sony - my enemy's enemy... - and this opens the door to co-operation between the two, with ATI as a third member of the alliance. ®

Related Link

Spong: Xbox 2 powered by ATI

Related Stories

Microsoft, Nvidia at war over Xbox
ATI confirms Nintendo gig (we think)


Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.