Nvidia profits rise amid increasing PC demand

By Steve Watts, Nov 11, 2011 10:15am PST

Despite all the naysayers, the PC platform is hitting an upswing. At least, according to GPU manufacturer Nvidia and their strong profits in their last fiscal quarter. The company claims it is seeing a greater demand for high-end PC gaming, but notes that this is part of the natural push and pull of PCs and consoles. For the moment, PCs are "dramatically better" than consoles.

"The strength in our GPU business in the third quarter was largely attributable to our desktop GPU products, with revenue increasing 23.0 percent over the prior quarter," Nvidia CFO Karen Burns wrote in the earnings report (via The Escapist). "This was not only due to seasonal strength for desktop GPU in the third quarter, but also the increased demand for our high-end products as consumers geared-up their PCs for new titles such as Battlefield 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Star Wars: The Old Republic."

In a Q&A with investors, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang explained the trend. "This happens every major game console cycle toward the second half of its product life, because PC technology advances on a regular basis instead of once every seven to ten years," he said. "And so you could imagine how PC technology is dramatically better than a game console today, and you're starting to see that now with a new generation of games that are coming out, such as Battlefield 3."

The unspoken implication, though, is that we're nearing the next console cycle, when manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft are likely to take a loss on their hardware to get their boxes into homes. That would make the whole cycle start anew, as consumers adopt the relatively cheap console alternative. Still, it's nice to hear news that can serve as your answer next time someone claims that PC gaming is dead.

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