As some of you may know, the Nintendo Switch is powered by a Nvidia graphical chipset, the famous Tegra X1. And knowing the tremendous success the hybrid console received since its launch, it could only mean one thing for the manufacturer: a nice boost in sales and revenue.
As fiscal first quarter ended April 30th, the Californian company reported today a whopping 108% raise in their year-on-year revenue ($332 million), with +29% from the previous quarter. Of course this isn’t related in total to the Switch, Nvidia is also thriving on GPU sales and artificial intelligence, but it’s clear that the Switch boosted their earnings. So, is it the start of a console-related division at Nvidia?
During company’s financial call, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang shared his thoughts on this partnership with Nintendo. Journalists asked him if the overall success of the Switch would drive an interest in pursuing a strategy towards the consoles market, here’s his response:
Consoles is not really a business to us. It’s a business to them. And we’re selected to work on these consoles. And if it makes sense and the strategic alignment is great and we’re in a position to be able to do it, because the opportunity cost of building a game console is quite high. The number of engineers who know how to build computing platforms like this – and in the case of the Nintendo Switch, it’s just an incredible console that fits in such a small form factor. And it could both be a mobile gaming device as well as a console gaming device. It’s just really quite amazing, and they just did an amazing job.
Somebody asked me a few months ago before it was launched how I thought it was going to do. And of course without saying anything about it, I said that it delighted me in a way that no game console has done in the last 10 – 15 years. And it’s true, this is a really, really innovative product and really quite ingenious. And if you ever have a chance to get it in your hands, it’s just really delightful.
And so in that case, the opportunity to work on it was just really, really too enticing. We really wanted to do it, but it always requires deep strategic thought because it took several hundred engineers to work on, and they could be working on something else like all of the major initiatives we have. And so we have to be mindful about the strategic opportunity cost that goes along with these. But in the case of the Nintendo Switch, it’s just a home run. I’m so glad I did it, and it was the perfect collaboration for us.