AMD yesterday announced a video livestream for their GPU 2014 Product Showcase event [Author’s note: Read “‘Hawaii‘ launch event”] at 3 p.m. EDT on September 25, to show off some of their 2014 GPU products. The livestream can be accessed on their investor relations website, and on YouTube. With the heavier focus on social media marketing inside AMD recently, coupled with this livestream, AMD seem to have high hopes that they will “make history in Q4” and excite the gaming GPU market once more.
Gaming GPU market (January to September 2013): *Yawns*
To the gaming GPU market, the last nine months have been relatively stable (or stale, for the pessimists), without anything major to hit the PC gaming market with much excitement. NVIDIA cancelled their GK11x series GPUs (everything except the GK110) and ended up having nothing to offer during Computex 2013. While AMD only has the Radeon HD 7790, the only discrete GPU in the “Sea Islands” family, as new discrete GPU offering to fill the hole between the Cape Verde Radeon HD 7700 series and the Pitcairn Radeon HD 7800 series GPUs. The rest is about keeping the focus on Radeon HD 7000 series for retail, rebrands (Radeon HD 8000 series) on the OEM side, and updated game bundle redemption available to end users.
Things look vastly different on the gaming console side. AMD gained a clean sweep in Wii U with R700 shaders, PlayStation 4 with Sea Islands shaders, and Xbox One with Southern Islands shaders, along with Jaguar x86-64 CPU cores for the PlayStation 4 APU and Xbox One SoC, that means most of the AAA cross-platform titles will have the same starting line and a unified feature set on graphics capabilities. [Author’s note: except for features enabled the eSRAM on Xbox One which some devs states it’s “a pain to use the eSRAM“.]
It’s also widely speculated that AMD will one-up their GCN architecture (presented in their Southern Islands and Sea Islands family GPUs) with next-gen (better known by the family codename “Volcanic Islands“) GPUs to keep the lead of graphics and compute capabilities on the PC platform.
Volcanic Islands: A new hope for AMD?
Back in June, it was discovered that there’s a lot of interesting offers from AMD as suggested in the INF files from a leaked driver, including information for “Hawaii“, “Vesuvius“, a GPU with graphics memory in a MCM (Multi-chip module) package for the embedded market and a new model numbering scheme that resembles the iSomethingMeaningless and the ASomethingMeaningless notations for Intel processors and AMD APUs.
And later, we came across this tweet…
And we move forward in time to August, when AMD was sending out invitations to press, saying they will reveal their next-gen GPUs on September 25 in Hawaii, which suggest the new GPUs are being fabricated on a 28 nm process.
AMD Red Team: Let the tease begin!
As the event moves closer, on Monday September 16, they began a series teasing the next-gen GPUs.
Step one, AMD officially brought back Ruby, the secret agent previously appearing in multiple ATI GPU Demos [Author’s note: The author is actually surprised that this page, dated 2009, still exists in AMD servers without any missing images.] which aims at showing Radeon GPU rendering capabilities, back to the stage after a 5-year hiatus and a brief sneak peek in GDC 2013 with GCN-based GPU and a modified CryEngine 3. It starts off with Facebook event for supporters (called the “AMD Red Team Members”) to vote for the storyline of Ruby coming back on stage, and now a dedicated twitter account.
In the meatspace though, AMD had an interview with Forbes stating they will not be targeting a $999-class enthusiast GPUs, basically “white elephants” from our perspective. And then, AMD announced live stream for the September 25 event on their official website, Facebook fan page and YouTube channel, with replay available on their YouTube channel later. And the fun part is, NVIDIA doesn’t have an answer to that.
What we see prior to the interview and the live stream announcement is AMD moving forward and betting heavily on social media marketing to make a larger impact on the Intertubes, leading to a better appeal to the PC gamers, even the video live stream itself is not heard of in the past few years regarding a product launch event on its own, which previously video live streams are limited to Computex, other trade shows, and last year’s AMD Fusion Developer Summit.
To us, the media, it probably means “we won’t be able to do in-depth Q&As unless otherwise arranged subsequently, sorry” like their previous press conference events, which is a pity. But the rest of the Intertubes who care about PC gaming hardware, whether people who are being part of the AMD Red Team or one of the Green/Blue team members, now you know what to mark on your calendar on September 25, and what you can expect during and after the livestream. S|A
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