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Nvidia Shuts Down Its GeForce Partner Program, Citing Misinformation (theregister.co.uk) 82

In a blog post on Friday, Nvidia announced it is "pulling the plug" on the GeForce Partner Program (GPP) due to the company's unwillingness to combat "rumors" and "mistruths" about the platform. The GPP has only been active for a couple of months. It was launched as a way for gamers to know exactly what they're buying when shopping for a new gaming PC. "With this program, partners would provide full transparency regarding the installed hardware and software in their products," reports Digital Trends. From the report: Shortly after the launch, unnamed sources from add-in card and desktop/laptop manufacturers came forward to reveal that the program will likely hurt consumer choice. Even more, they worried that some of the agreement language may actually be illegal while the program itself could disrupt the current business they have with AMD and Intel. They also revealed one major requirement: The resulting product sports the label "[gaming brand] Aligned Exclusively with GeForce." As an example, if Asus wanted to add its Republic of Gamers (RoG) line to Nvidia's program, it wouldn't be allowed to sell RoG products with AMD-based graphics. Of course, manufacturers can choose whether or not to join Nvidia's program, but membership supposedly had its "perks" including access to early technology, sales rebate programs, game bundling, and more.

According to Nvidia, all it asked of its partners was to "brand their products in a way that would be crystal clear." The company says it didn't want "substitute GPUs hidden behind a pile of techno-jargon." Specifications for desktops and laptops tend to list their graphics components and PC gamers are generally intelligent shoppers that don't need any clarification. Regardless, Nvidia is pulling the controversial program because the "rumors, conjecture, and mistruths go far beyond" the program's intent.

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Nvidia Shuts Down Its GeForce Partner Program, Citing Misinformation

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  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Saturday May 05, 2018 @03:26AM (#56558220) Homepage

    PC gamers are generally intelligent shoppers that don't need any clarification

    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Saturday May 05, 2018 @03:56AM (#56558256)

      Nvidia didn't say that. Digitaltrends did.

      Mind you it doesn't make the program any less questionable, especially if the techno jargon you're hiding is the performance features.

      Hey come buy the new Ford Mustang by Ford, because Ford Ford. It has some seats, and all the horsepowers. It has the things you expect, supports all kinds of drivers, and comes in red and black, wheels included in price.
      God I miss car analogies.

      • lmao, me too cause that was a good one.

      • by Type44Q ( 1233630 ) on Saturday May 05, 2018 @10:00AM (#56558962)

        God I miss car analogies.

        Relied on those for years but for having to explain the necessity of 'Windows Reinstallations' to my clients, my mainstay was the following:

        Microsoft products are toilet paper grade... which is perfectly fine for some tasks... but when your toilet paper gets dirty, do you try to scrub out the shit-stains? No; you get a fresh roll.

        • but when your toilet paper gets dirty, do you try to scrub out the shit-stains? No; you get a fresh roll.

          Careful there's been a huge resurgence in reusable diapers as of late :)

          • but when your toilet paper gets dirty, do you try to scrub out the shit-stains? No; you get a fresh roll.

            Careful there's been a huge resurgence in reusable diapers as of late :)

            Make sure you google "family cloth", you'll be glad you did :)

      • What's the difference between a car marketing phrase writer and a computer marketing phrase writer? The car marketing phrase write knows when he's lying.

        • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

          They're marketeers; they are ALWAYS lying.
          The computer marketeer is just lying to himself as well.

    • My experience with gamers in overwatch and dota suggests otherwise :p
    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Nice catch!

  • are you serious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Saturday May 05, 2018 @03:57AM (#56558262)
    I heard the entire document was leaked absolutely word for word verbatim. But no, guys, it's misinformation and misinterpretations. I am not misinformed about bullying your competition out of top product line names. That is what that was, the end.
    • I heard the entire document was leaked absolutely word for word verbatim.

      Who did you hear that from?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Nice try Nvidia.

      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        https://www.hardocp.com/news/2... [hardocp.com] read the other links. Nvidia has also apparently blacklisted HardOCP for posting all of this information to the public.

        Seriously, every single gamer out there should look hard at what nvidia did, say "fuck you" buy a AMD card on their next upgrade/new rig, send them a picture and tell them that this is the result of the GPP program.

      • Linus Tech Tips and if I recall, Slashdot
  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Saturday May 05, 2018 @04:50AM (#56558356)
    Convincing PC makers like Dell and HP to join a program where they got special access and prices to Intel CPUs, in exchange for an exclusivity contract which prohibited the PC maker from selling AMD computers?
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie&hotmail,com> on Saturday May 05, 2018 @05:20AM (#56558418) Homepage

    A lot has been said recently about our GeForce Partner Program. The rumors, conjecture and mistruths go far beyond its intent. Rather than battling misinformation, we have decided to cancel the program.

    What they actually meant: "You were all right about the GPP and what we were trying to do with it, we got caught red-handed and it backfired spectacularly, and now we'll just try to sweep it all under the rug as quickly and unceremoniously as possible."

    • Re:Translation (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Cytotoxic ( 245301 ) on Saturday May 05, 2018 @07:11AM (#56558582)

      I actually think Nvidia has a bit of a point here, even if their "program" has some serious problems.

      If I build a brand of graphics cards based on Nvidia chips... let's call it BlazeX... and I spend years building brand loyalty to BlazeX as the fastest cards available, Nvidia is hidden behind that brand. They'd like for people to associate BlazeX only with Nvidia chips, so when the BlazeX Value comes out, it has an Nvidia chipset and not an AMD or Intel chipset. In that scenario, the Nvidia-built reputation is selling AMD and Intel chips. Of course Nvidia finds that annoying.

      This program would also provide Nvidia some room to breath if AMD happened to leapfrog them in one of the chipset cycles and come out with a much faster product. BlazeX would still have the cache of being the fastest and they'd still sell a lot of Nvidia chips while they played catchup.

      Which of course explains why the manufacturers don't want to do things this way. They want people to associate their brand with "the best", not the chipset. That way you will always buy from them, even if they switch to Intel chips at a later date.

      • Re:Translation (Score:4, Informative)

        by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie&hotmail,com> on Saturday May 05, 2018 @08:15AM (#56558684) Homepage

        If I build a brand of graphics cards based on Nvidia chips... let's call it BlazeX... and I spend years building brand loyalty to BlazeX as the fastest cards available, Nvidia is hidden behind that brand. They'd like for people to associate BlazeX only with Nvidia chips, so when the BlazeX Value comes out, it has an Nvidia chipset and not an AMD or Intel chipset. In that scenario, the Nvidia-built reputation is selling AMD and Intel chips.

        But that's not what happened. NVIDIA just came with GPP and said "We want you to move AMD's (and others', if any) offerings under a different brand and dedicate your already-existing, top gaming-brand only for our stuff" -- completely reverse of the scenario you painted! The move was wholly designed to hurt AMD and to let NVIDIA ride on these existing brands' reputations. No one would've batted an eye if NVIDIA asked manufacturers to create a new branding just for NVIDIA's offerings, but that's not what they did.

        • Re:Translation (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Ramze ( 640788 ) on Saturday May 05, 2018 @11:53AM (#56559436)

          That's not my understanding of what happened. NVIDIA said that NVIDIA products needed their own brand that was separate from the AMD brand. Suppliers did have the option of creating a separate brand just for NVIDIA, but none did. Instead, they kept the gaming brand they already had and made it exclusively for NVIDIA while some created a second brand for AMD.

          For instance, ASUS kept the ROG (Republic of Gamers) for NVIDIA, but created AREZ for AMD for graphics cards. There was nothing in the deal requiring that to happen. They could have kept ROG for AMD and made a separate brand for NVIDIA.

          In practice, though -- everyone knows NVIDIA's cards are better for the most part on the high end, so of course the trusted high-end gaming brand goes to NVIDIA.

          You know ASUS is likely unhappy about having to carry a second brand just for AMD. They have ROG motherboards and graphics cards and would like to just keep ROG for everything high-end and high-quality regardless of what's powering it. They will probably end the AREZ line soon now that the program is cancelled.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          But that's not what happened. NVIDIA just came with GPP and said "We want you to move AMD's (and others', if any) offerings under a different brand and dedicate your already-existing, top gaming-brand only for our stuff" -- completely reverse of the scenario you painted! The move was wholly designed to hurt AMD and to let NVIDIA ride on these existing brands' reputations. No one would've batted an eye if NVIDIA asked manufacturers to create a new branding just for NVIDIA's offerings, but that's not what the

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Exactly this. They may also have discovered what kinds of penalties can actually be imposed for doing something like this.

    • Indeed. Sounds like Kyle Bennett and HardOCP [hardocp.com] might as well accept their backtracking as an apology because although they're too arrogant to ever admit they were wrong... they're apparently too stupid to realize that they just did.
  • by Pinky's Brain ( 1158667 ) on Saturday May 05, 2018 @06:32AM (#56558530)

    The card manufacturer brands simply aren't that strong, all the publicity about about brand splitting was just giving AMD free advertising with no benefit to NVIDIA. Worse, if they force ASUS to create new brands for AMD they might just launch Freesync only high end monitors ,,, which is not at all to NVIDIA's benefit.

    Some manager thought he was clever and tried to turn third party hardware partnership into just as effective an anti-competitive tool as software support, but they just don't work the same. Not so clever.

    • Newsflash for you. Freesync is already dominant in monitors...and Sansungs new Q series TVs support it too. As does the Xbox OneX. AND when HDMI 2.1 is finished, so is the proprietary and nvidia taxed Gsync. Open beats closed EVERY SINGLE TIME!
  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Saturday May 05, 2018 @10:31AM (#56559092)

    And now they claim that their probably quite illegal act has just been "misunderstood" and is hence somebody else's fault. I think they pretty much panicked when they talked to some actually competent lawyers about what they had done. May also gave gotten some friendly warnings and an ultimatum from the competition.

    • Telling people that they "misunderstood" when they understood perfectly well is gaslighting. If that's really what's happening then it's really sad that they stoop to that level.

      • by gweihir ( 88907 )

        I agree. Unfortunately also quite non-surprising. Just a standard technique to avoid responsibility and put a "spin" on things.

  • According to Nvidia, all it asked of its partners was to "brand their products in a way that would be crystal clear."

    My laptop has a sticker on it that says "Powered by nVidia Quadro" How much more clear do they need to be?

  • "Misinformation".
    Caught trying to bully people for exclusivity, products already came out to prove the dirty tactic was working, and refused to reply to questions made by costumers, people covering the subject, and whatnot.
    More likely caught red handed with shady tactics to corner the market and wanted to avoid a lawsuit.
    See guys, it wasn't only that nVidia was trying to put nVidia products into a separate brand than the competition, it's that they wanted exclusivity, they were shutting down access for blog

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