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Nvidia, ATI win next-gen DS, Xbox Contracts?


This is some interesting news from Gamespot. Looks like NVidia and ATI are going to be playing a role in the upcoming hardware for Nintendo products and Microsoft products.

“What we heard: Hardware rumor-mongers got a twofer this week involving the next generation of Microsoft’s Xbox console and Nintendo’s DS handheld. The latter came courtesy of a report on hardware blog Bright Side News (BSN), which reported that Nvidia has landed the contract to provide the chipsets for the DS and DSi’s as-yet unannounced successor.

“According to our confidential sources, Nintendo is going to use Tegra System-on-Chip processor for the successor of DS/DSi handheld console,” reported the site. Currently, the Tegra line powers a series of small computer and multimedia devices, including the just-released Zune HD, which will be getting 3D games later this year.

Reportedly, the graphics chip-maker offered the least complicated option for the next-gen DS. “Unlike the current design, Nvidia offered a single-chip proposal to Nintendo, a company famous for keeping the hardware platform absolutely simple.” The current generation of DS Lites and DSis use two ARM-architecture chips to handle both graphics and processing.

BSN expects the new DS to be unveiled at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show next fall, around the same time Microsoft is expected to launch the Xbox 360’s motion-sensing system, Project Natal. However, it was the 360’s successor which was the subject of another report involving Nvidia’s archrival, AMD-owned ATI.

Tech blog Fudzilla is citing unnamed “industry sources” as confirming Microsoft has struck a deal with ATI to provide graphics processors (GPUs) for the next generation of Xboxes. The Canadian chip firm currently supplies the GPUs for both the Wii and Xbox 360, with Nvidia supplying Sony with the PlayStation 3’s RSX graphics processor.

Fudzilla’s sources also echo analysts, executives, and developers as saying the next generation of hardware won’t arrive anytime soon. “The consoles refresh (sic) was supposed to happen in 2010 but due to the recession both Microsoft and Sony have decided to push its plans for 2012 (sic) and keep the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 alive for more than it was originally planned.”

The official stories: “Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation.”–Microsoft rep.

“We don’t comment on rumor or speculation.” — Nintendo spokesperson.

Bogus or not bogus?: Both sound plausible. Nintendo will be looking for higher-fidelity graphics for the next DS, and anyone who’s seen a Zune HD knows the Tegra can provide them. As for the Xbox rumor, no-one has blamed the 360’s woes on ATI’s GPU, instead pointing the finger at Microsoft’s design choices. So having the software giant reenlist the hardware provider seems completely reasonable.

Source: GameSpot

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