Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang had plenty to share in the company’s Q4 earnings call, including the promise held by RTX graphics and ray tracing, and in particular GeForce-toting gaming laptops.
As documented by Seeking Alpha, Huang was super-confident (as is his job) on many different points, not the least of which was the claim that Nvidia-powered gaming laptops are almost like a game console – and furthermore, that they are set to be the most popular ‘console’ in the world (never mind the incoming PS5 or Xbox Series X).
This is the exact quote from Nvidia’s chief executive: “Our notebook business as Colette [Nvidia’s Chief Financial Officer] mentioned earlier, has seen double-digit growth for eight consecutive quarters and this is unquestionably a new gaming category. Like it’s a new game console.
“This is going to be the largest game console in the world I believe. And the reason for that is because there are more people with laptops than there are of any other device.”
Obviously, this is a deliberately hype-stoking statement from the CEO, but the intent is to underline the success of Nvidia’s gaming laptops – as closed box, slim-line PCs – being pushed with RTX graphics, and new Max-Q designs (for svelte systems).
CFO Colette Kress noted that over the last holiday season, retailers were stocking a record number of 125 models of gaming laptop (up from 94 the previous year) featuring Nvidia graphics solutions, and that the number of Max-Q designs had doubled.
Huang further noted: “The fact that we’ve been able to get RTX into a thin and light notebook … is really a breakthrough. And it’s one of the reasons why we’re seeing such great success in notebook.”
Hurray for rays
Huang also talked about the success of RTX graphics cards in general: “One more thing about RTX, we finally have taken RTX down to $299 [with the price reduction on the RTX 2060]. So it’s now at the sweet spot of gaming. And so RTX is doing fantastic. The sell-through is fantastic all over the world.”
And as you might expect, he bigged-up ray tracing: “And … it’s super clear now that ray tracing is the most important new feature of next-generation graphics. We have 30 – over 30 games that have been announced, 11 games or so that have been shipped. The pipeline of ray tracing games that are going to be coming out is just really, really exciting.”
All of this is about par for the course, but it is interesting to see just how much emphasis Nvidia is placing on the success of gaming laptops, and the future of these devices.
Particularly considering Nvidia has just launched its GeForce Now game streaming service. Because at the same time as helping to realize compelling and powerful gaming laptops, the firm is also pushing the idea that you can play games on any dusty old notebook (or PC, or indeed Android smartphone for that matter).
However, GeForce Now hit an early wobble after Activision Blizzard withdrew its full catalogue of games (including massive titles like Call of Duty, Overwatch and many more).