Up For Debate - Could Nvidia Or AMD Make Games Exclusive To Their Graphics Cards?

Written by Ed SW on Sun, Oct 2, 2016 2:00 PM

With many people heralding Kronos’s new Vulkan API as the pathway to a games industry free of operating system and platform exclusives, backing Direct X 12 into a corner of its own exclusionary desires, is a new era of exclusives soon to be upon us? More importantly, could Nvidia or AMD theoretically fund games which would only run on their brands of graphics cards?

Now, the games industry has been a battle of exclusivity pretty much from its inception, whether you were rubbing it in your mate’s face that only you could play Pud Pud in Weird World on your ZX spectrum or Sonic on your Genesis, blood has been spilt and fortunes made depending on which developers you could get to take an oath of allegiance.

Despite the eden like possibilities that Valve software developer Dan Ginsburg says Vulkan is taking us towards (and that we should drop DX12 like a 2nd hand condom), are just a new set of companies going to move in and kidnap Banjo & Kazooie?

To be fair there are a number of reasons that could potentially indicate that graphics cards might be the new battlefield. With Nvidia already dipping its toe in murky depths of exclusives. Games like Carnival VR, an Nvidia-exclusive Fallout 4 mod, and the notorious Nvidia Gameworks features. Perhaps these are a portent of things to come.

Will AMD retaliate? Picture this for a second. Rockstar takes to the stage and announces Grand Theft Auto 6 is coming to PC. Only, there's a twist. The familiar green banner of Nvidia unfurls and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang takes to the stage to sensationally reveal it will only only work for PC gamers with a GeForce graphics card. A horror show, to be sure, and the level of frothing outrage would bring the internet tumbling to its knees. But here's the important bit - would you still end up making sure your next graphics card was a GeForce so you could play GTA 6? Come on, you know you'd be tempted.

But then imagine needing to have two PCs set up at the same time. One to play GeForce games, the other play an AMD exclusive DOOM sequel. In essence it's no different to what Oculus is trying with its Rift exclusives.

Would that be a blunder or business genius? Could it even ever happen? And what graphics card exclusive would you get to switch to Nvidia or AMD? Let us know!

Would you buy a game exclusive to AMD or GeForce?

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07:25 Oct-12-2016

This has been going on for years and years. Anyone here remember the GLIDE API with 3Dfx?

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13:55 Oct-03-2016

Neither company is stupid enough to alienate an entire group, also game devs would lose out on a lot of potential buyers in the pc market.

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10:37 Oct-03-2016

It would take a butt load of cash for a AAA game publisher to agree to this. That or either NVidia or AMD has almost 100% market share (which means the other company is basically bankrupt, so what's the point?).
So it ain't gonna happen. Unless NVidia or AMD develop their own games.

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09:51 Oct-03-2016

Has already happened in the past.
Asfar I can remember ''Bridge it'' was a nvidea card only game.


Guess it was changed when it came to steam.

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09:13 Oct-03-2016

They are not doing exactly that, but Nvidia has been doing anti competitive moves for years - GameWorks and PhysX! AMD has their own stuff as well, but it's open or others to use and Nvidia quickly patches their end in these cases no problem.
GPUs are not a platform, they are just a single component. Yet, greed is unpredictable...

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08:30 Oct-03-2016

If that happens then i will totally refrain from buying that game, even if it's my favorite game. We can't allow the game company to control the pc gaming market. Gaming company can do this to seek money from amd and nvidia and earn more profit. I think they are doing to make console equal to pc again.

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07:14 Oct-03-2016

They probably could. Doesn't mean they should.


Doing so would probably harbor some REAL bad blood between company and customer.

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06:40 Oct-03-2016

The only way they can do it is via software and thus there will be a crack, hardware wise both AMD and Nvidia GPUs are based on the same ISA(Instruction set architecture) or at least 95% the same, Nvidia's Cuda can NOT execute C standard for the most part, but still.

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05:59 Oct-03-2016

They can.But those gonna be crappy games.

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05:53 Oct-03-2016

You can't cure greed...

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07:04 Oct-03-2016

Nvidia isn't greed. It is envy. I've said it once here before. Invidia is latin for envy!

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04:41 Oct-04-2016

I meant more about greedy gaming companies then specific hardware company, should have been more specific i guess :P

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23:43 Oct-02-2016

and i may get down-voted for this... but is this not a process that's already taking shape? simply because in the long run these "tech giants" are on the stock exchange... investors always want growth... ultimately this would be their goal

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23:46 Oct-02-2016

they'd just need to invent some form of tech that makes the most wanted games play better on their own hardware or have a bios lock that wont read anything else than their own OS... oh!? that's already taking place... :(

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23:49 Oct-02-2016

and comsumers, in their drive to only want the best dont mind at all forking out more dollars for a similar product because the frames are higher because the "paid review" said so or because they cant buy anything other than the monopolized

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03:11 Oct-03-2016

If you think this will happen without a fight, then you don't know how the PC industry came to be in the first place.... you see. A company called IBM used to control this industry, but they were extremely overpriced, and people wanted them(at the time primarily businesses, since they were originally business machines)

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03:13 Oct-03-2016

Compaq and other manufacturers saw a market to bring these machines to a wider auidience... but there was one obstacle standing in their way... the BIOS, since IBM owned this piece of software and it was protected under copywrite, they had to clean room reverse engineer their own version of the PC BIOS.

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03:16 Oct-03-2016

Having succeeded.... they began licensing and I believe even open sourcing their version of the PC BIOS.... before long... the cheaper "clones" had completely replaced the product they were cloning, and who even remembers poor old IBM?

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03:19 Oct-03-2016

Fast forward to today.... everything about a PC, from how it works to it's BIOS software, the OS, all of it's I/O standards, are all known, and common knowledge.... if you really think we're going to allow the PC to become a locked down platform, then you underestimate our resourcefulness.

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03:22 Oct-03-2016

And by "our" I mean the community as a whole.... if AMD and Nvidia start getting too big for their breeches, we'll replace them, they're not the only companies that know how to make GPUs, if Microsoft starts getting too big for it's breeches... we'll replace them, their not the only company that can code an OS

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22:10 Oct-02-2016

Oh god please no

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20:49 Oct-02-2016

I doubt we would see video card exclusively be tied to games because the cost (both financial and to reputation) it would be. Maybe certain games being more optimized for either AMD or Nvidia but not more than that.

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20:07 Oct-02-2016

If the game is made for PC only ofcourse i would buy games for nvidia. But this is like xbox and ps so its kinda useless. And as far as i know games there are games optimized for nvidia and amd. So it's basically the same.

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20:13 Oct-02-2016

If game companies make games for nvidia or amd, they'll chose nvidia, because they'll think nvidia's are with better gpu's and most of the people use it and amd will bankrupt if companies stop making games for their gpu, but it's like xbox and ps3 games. U buy whichever console u want. :)

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19:21 Oct-02-2016

If this were to happen, I would probably give up PC gaming. Contrary to what console players believe, there is no "war' between AMD and Nvidia card users. Both have a level of respect for the other users, and a level of contempt for certain shady practices (screw GameWorks).
PC is an open platform, leave it that way.

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18:39 Oct-02-2016

So far NVidia was dominating the market with games being produced alongside them, and therefore, AMD cards were performing poorly. Although it was not an exclusive, some part of it was true. I hope AMD takes shares so they end up 50-50.

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18:47 Oct-02-2016

Now that would be epic, at least for the customer.

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18:32 Oct-02-2016

PC always has been, and should always remain an open platform, because this is it's MAIN strength. Just as I would argue that Microsoft has no right locking down agreements with Lenovo to make it impossible to run anything but Windows on some of their devices. I would say the same applies to Nvidia, AMD, and Occulus.

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18:31 Oct-02-2016

i wish there will be no exclusive....... all game should be in all capable platform

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18:26 Oct-02-2016

Please no.

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18:24 Oct-02-2016

Pff for years games where and still are mostlly Nvidia optimised but that hasnt stoped AMD. Eaven if this ever haponed (which it probably wont becuse game developers would just loose money) ppl would find a way to bypass it and play on both brands.

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Can They Run... |

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0% No [2 votes]
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100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Zotac Gaming 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400H 6-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Mobile 8GB
| 30FPS, 720p
Core i7-5500U 2-Core 2.4GHz GeForce 940M 2GB 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-3770 4-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Gigabyte G1 Gaming 8GB Edition 16GB
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Core i7-10750H 6-Core 2.60GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-6400 2.7GHz GeForce GTX 1050 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Core i5-9600K 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 6GB 32GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
FX-6300 GeForce GTX 760 24GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-11400H 6-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Mobile 8GB
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400H 6-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Mobile 8GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400H 6-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Mobile 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400H 6-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Mobile 8GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 720p
Athlon II X4 640 Radeon RX 470 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 4GB 8GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i7-4710MQ 4-Core 2.5GHz GeForce GTX 960M 2GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Pentium G2030 3.0GHz Radeon HD 4650 1GB 4GB