Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has boasted once again the success of Team Green’s Max-Q laptops and assorted dedicated mobile graphics processors. This time though, he's got the consoles in his sights.
“Our notebook business has seen double-digit growth for eight consecutive quarters and this is unquestionably a new gaming category,” said Jensen during Nvidia’s Q4 quarterly earnings call.
“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.”
He’s just wilfully ignoring smartphones, right?
“And so the fact that we’ve been able to get RTX into a thin and light notebook, a thin and light notebook is really a breakthrough,” Jensen continued. “And it’s one of the reasons why we’re seeing such great success in the notebook.”
While Huang is obviously right to be shouting about the capabilities of gaming laptops powered by GeForce graphics, I think we’re a long way off ever conceiving of them as genuine competitors in the ‘console’ marketplace. We’re talking about two completely different price brackets and, in a lot of cases, totally different use cases. You can pick up a Nintendo Switch Lite for $170; no decent gaming laptop is getting anywhere near this. You’re looking at $1000 as a minimum for a decent gaming laptop, which already puts it well outside the comfortable value for a portable gaming device for most people in the world.
The saving grace of such a laptop, naturally, is that it can do a whole lot more besides gaming, but that’s all by the by when we’re talking about a strict competitor in the console business.
Sadly, Nvidia doesn’t release sales figures for specific GPUs, although we’d certainly be interested to know just how many GeForce RTX Mobile graphics cards it’s shifted. Unit sales have seemingly increased significantly since the arrival of the GeForce Max-Q design, despite the significant performance hit.
It’s certainly intriguing to see this renewed focus on mobile gaming from Nvidia, it’s evidently an approach that’s working for it. Whether that can be enough to topple the 106 million PS4 consoles sold remains to be seen, but while traditional PC sales decline, laptops continue to boom, driven by 12.7% year-on-year growth.
What do you think, can laptop gaming topple console gaming?