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Nvidia ignores the console wars and doubles down on GPUs

PC gaming is still a huge market, and Nvidia isn't afraid to commit to it.

Nvidia ignores the console wars and doubles down on GPUs

The company's new cards will be released later this month.

Photo: Nvidia

What next-generation gaming consoles? The real action in the $160 billion video game business is on PCs.

That was Nvidia's dismissive subtext on Tuesday as the company unveiled its first major new line of consumer graphics hardware in two years. While Sony and Microsoft are yet to reveal pricing and timing details for their new game machines expected this fall, Nvidia is getting on the all-important holiday wish lists early, with specific product announcements that will make many gamers' eyes water.

In addition to announcing a new line of powerful PC graphics cards for the fall — ranging from $500 to $1,500 — Nvidia also flaunted its tight relationships with many of the largest and most popular game developers. Nvidia and Epic Games — which is locked in a high-stakes antitrust lawsuit with Apple — announced that Fortnite, Epic's flagship franchise, would soon add support for Nvidia's ray-tracing technology, which generates more realistic and immersive lighting effects. Nvidia also revealed footage of two other highly anticipated games — Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (from Activision Blizzard) and Cyberpunk 2077 (from CD Projekt) — that will use the same technology.

PCs are the world's most popular gaming platform with about 1.5 billion players — roughly half of the 3 billion gamers worldwide. By contrast, only about 8% of gamers globally appear to be dedicated console players. That's one reason why Nvidia, the leader in PC graphics, does not appear especially chagrined that both Microsoft and Sony opted for graphics systems from AMD for their new consoles. Dedicated PC gamers will pay more for a single graphics card than console gamers pay for their entire systems.

Wearing his trademark leather jacket and standing in his home's kitchen, Jensen Huang, Nvidia's chief executive, announced that the company's new 3070 card would be released next month starting at $499, the 3080 card would be released Sept. 17 starting at $699 and the 3090 (continuing a new trend of revealing hardware from his oven, saying "Come here, papa") would arrive Sept. 24 starting at $1,499. The company said that the 3080 — which Huang called the company's new "flagship," presumably because of what it sees as a sweet-spot positioning of price and performance — delivers up to twice the horsepower of current 2080 cards, which can cost up to $1,200.

In addition to the new cards, Nvidia also revealed new software to improve the performance of older cards; enable advanced machinima storytelling; and improve video and audio streaming quality.

Does Elon Musk make Tesla tech?

Between the massive valuation and the self-driving software, Tesla isn't hard to sell as a tech company. But does that mean that, in 10 years, every car will be tech?

You know what's not tech and is a car company? Volkswagen.

Image: Tesla/Protocol

From disagreements about what "Autopilot" should mean and SolarCity lawsuits to space colonization and Boring Company tunnels, extremely online Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his company stay firmly in the news, giving us all plenty of opportunities to consider whether the company that made electric cars cool counts as tech.

The massive valuation definitely screams tech, as does the company's investment in self-driving software and battery development. But at the end of the day, this might not be enough to convince skeptics that Tesla is anything other than a car company that uses tech. It also raises questions about the role that timeliness plays in calling something tech. In a potential future where EVs are the norm and many run on Tesla's own software — which is well within the realm of possibility — will Tesla lose its claim to a tech pedigree?

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Becca Evans
Becca Evans is a copy editor and producer at Protocol. Previously she edited Carrie Ann Conversations, a wellness and lifestyle publication founded by Carrie Ann Inaba. She's also written for STYLECASTER. Becca lives in Los Angeles.

As President of Alibaba Group, I am often asked, "What is Alibaba doing in the U.S.?"

In fact, most people are not aware we have a business in the U.S. because we are not a U.S. consumer-facing service that people use every day – nor do we want to be. Our consumers – nearly 900 million of them – are located in China.

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J. Michael Evans
Michael Evans leads and executes Alibaba Group's international strategy for globalizing the company and expanding its businesses outside of China.
Protocol | Workplace

Apple isn’t the only tech company spooked by the delta variant

Spooked by rising cases of COVID-19, many tech companies delay their office reopening.

Apple and at least two other Silicon Valley companies have decided to delay their reopenings in response to rising COVID-19 case counts.

Photo: Luis Alvarez via Getty

Apple grabbed headlines this week when it told employees it would delay its office reopening until October or later. But the iPhone maker wasn't alone: At least two other Silicon Valley companies decided to delay their reopenings last week in response to rising COVID-19 case counts.

Both ServiceNow and Pure Storage opted to push back their September return-to-office dates last week, telling employees they can work remotely until at least the end of the year. Other companies may decide to exercise more caution given the current trends.

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Allison Levitsky
Allison Levitsky is a reporter at Protocol covering workplace issues in tech. She previously covered big tech companies and the tech workforce for the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Allison grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC Berkeley.
Protocol | Workplace

Half of working parents have felt discriminated against during COVID

A new survey found that working parents at the VP level are more likely to say they've faced discrimination at work than their lower-level counterparts.

A new survey looks at discrimination faced by working parents during the pandemic.

Photo: d3sign/Getty Images

The toll COVID-19 has taken on working parents — particularly working moms — is, by now, well-documented. The impact for parents in low-wage jobs has been particularly devastating.

But a new survey, shared exclusively with Protocol, finds that among parents who kept their jobs through the pandemic, people who hold more senior positions are actually more likely to say they faced discrimination at work than their lower-level colleagues.

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Issie Lapowsky

Issie Lapowsky ( @issielapowsky) is Protocol's chief correspondent, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. She also oversees Protocol's fellowship program. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University's Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing.

Protocol | Enterprise

Alphabet goes deep into industrial robotic software with Intrinsic

If it succeeds, the gambit could help support Google Cloud's lofty ambitions in the manufacturing sector.

Alphabet is aiming to make advanced robotic technology affordable to customers.

Photo: Getty Images

Alphabet launched a new division Friday called Intrinsic, which will focus on building software for industrial robots, per a blog post. The move plunges the tech giant deeper into a sector that's in the midst of a major wave of digitization.

The goal of Intrinsic is to "give industrial robots the ability to sense, learn, and automatically make adjustments as they're completing tasks, so they work in a wider range of settings and applications," CEO Wendy Tan-White wrote in the post.

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Joe Williams

Joe Williams is a senior reporter at Protocol covering enterprise software, including industry giants like Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle. He previously covered emerging technology for Business Insider. Joe can be reached at JWilliams@Protocol.com. To share information confidentially, he can also be contacted on a non-work device via Signal (+1-309-265-6120) or JPW53189@protonmail.com.

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