Nvidia announces nothing at Computex

Hopes you won’t notice

USUALLY AT COMPUTEX companies hold a press release to announce new products. This year Nvidia did announce a lot of things, but we couldn’t quite figure out what was new and none of what was announced appeared to be Nvidia products, although the announcements did somehow seem to involve Nvidia and its products.

Nvidia talked about 3D, 3D and you guessed it 3D. Well, ok, the presentation also talked a bit about Tegra 2, but that seemed to be more in passing than anything else, as there were no products to be shown. But let’s start with a picture – “Fermi: DX11 Done Right!” There was a lot of talk about Fermi, but there was only a single card on display at the Nvidia show room although there were a few working systems that, inside closed cases, had Fermi cards in them.

So what about tablets? Well, Again, a couple of nice slides and we were told to expect tablets to be the next personal computer. That’s not really news and even the slide showing off a Compal device running Android didn’t really impress, as it wasn’t actually on show. Jen-Hsun Huang kept going on about how Nvidia’s partners are getting ready to launch products “later” but didn’t specify a point in time as of when we could expect to see these devices.

Then it was time for demo’s, all in glorious 3D, which sadly made yours truly feel quite sick, possibly due to the unforeseen fact that the screen in the rather large tent was swinging from side to side which added an unwanted effect to the 3D videos, still pictures, and game demos. This was all to imprint the need of the “3D PC” into everyone’s mind, although having talked to some of the journalists that attended the event, most felt that 3D displays are just a passing hype and no-one really wants them.

Nvidia also announced a partnership with Microsoft to deliver 3D video streaming, with some help from Silverlight. This requires that you have a special 3D Vision Silverlight-based video player and of course a suitable graphics card. It’s supposed to make it possible to stream 3D video in HD, although considering how few devices, with the exception of desktop PCs, that support Silverlight; this looks like another wasted opportunity.

A few 3D Vision Surround demos were set up in the demo area with three screen solutions from Acer, Asus and LG. We also spotted Shuttle’s new ION 2 powered XPC which oddly enough features a pair of D-sub connectors. We also noticed a rather sleek ION 2 box from a company called Giada that we aren’t familiar with, although the build quality of this unit left something to be desired.

Overall Nvidia’s press conference didn’t do anything to re-assure us that the company was back on track with regards to anything. Yes, the GeForce GTX 465 is here, but it launched ahead of Computex and despite a press release for it being included in the press pack, no mention of it was ever made during the presentation. Oh well, better luck next year Nvidia.S|A

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