NVIDIA recently sponsored the largest gaming technology showcase in India, Gamerconnect Bangalore where the biggest brands came together to show off their most cutting-edge hardware. In between the demos and competitions, we were able to have a word with the NVIDIA Consumer Marketing Head for South Asia (Vamsi Krishna) on a wide range of topics from Gamerconnect to NVIDIA’s falling stock prices.
We first inquired about the aims and objectives of Gamerconnect, followed by the excessively high prices of the RTX cards, AMD Navi and lastly NVIDIA’s troubles in the stock market. While we didn’t get anything fresh out of the gentleman, we did learn a thing or two about the company’s plans in South Asia.
Q. What exactly is Gamerconnect?
VK: Gamerconnect is a gaming technology platform where you get to see the latest and greatest hardware and gaming titles on a scale that is second to none in the region. It’s an opportunity for gamers to get together and check out what NVIDIA is doing in the field of gaming and eSports.
Q. How many events have you had this year?
VK: We’ve had six events this year. The basic idea is to go to the tier 2 and tier 3 cities and connect with gamers on the grass-root level. We go to different cities for our main events and then try to revisit them after a gap of 2 years.
Q. Don’t you think the RTX 20-series graphics cards are too expensive? I mean here in India the previous flagship, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti was priced around 66K just last year and the current flagship, the RTX 2080 Ti costs a staggering 1,000,00+?
VK: (laughs) See you need to understand the kind of milestone we’ve achieved with Turing. From Maxwell to Pascal, the architecture didn’t really change all that much, but in case of Turing we were able to make history. For the first time, real-time raytracing is being implemented in games which is as close to realism as we can get with the present technology. We’ve also got DLSS, another brand new technology that should make 4K more accessible to the average gamer…
Q. At present only one game (Battlefield V) supports raytracing. What kind of adoption are you expecting from developers in the future?
VK: Yes, at the moment, you’ve just got Battlefield V, but Shadow of the Tomb Raider should also receive a patch very soon. Final Fantasy XV just got the update enabling DLSS and as you can see it’s an impressive piece of tech. You will see a lot more games with raytracing in the future though, as we’re working closely with a number of game developers.
Q. 4K isn’t quite feasible with raytracing, and in case of Battlefield V, 1440p seems to be the targeted resolution. So how to plan to persuade people gaming at 4K to embrace raytracing?
VK: It runs perfects at 4K. In fact, we’ve got our PCs here equipped with RTX 2080 Tis running Battlefield V at 4K with raytracing enabled. [We checked but couldn’t find any. Seems like he thought we were asking if raytracing was supported at 4K. Ah well…]
Q. What are NVIDIA’s plans regarding the competition. AMD is expected to release new Navi-based high-end GPUs at much lower prices than the RTX cards. What do you plan to do about it?
VK: See, you have to look at the kind of products we’re offering and then compare it with the competition. At the moment, NVIDIA is ahead (of AMD) both when it comes to the GPU architecture as well as the Game-ready driver support. Our day one driver support is unparalleled and they (AMD) are yet to catch up with us on that front. So for gamers who want the best performance in games the same day they are released, NVIDIA is the right choice.
Q. What are your future objectives in India?
VK: We have a lot of plans for India. The eSports industry is expanding quite fast, but it’d be fair to say that it’s still in its early stages in the country and we’ve got a ways to go before it matures. One of the areas we are really investing in is gaming cafes. By making investors aware of the potential of this sector, we are trying to make eSports more and more profitable for gamers who are pursuing a career in the field.
Q. Recently, the crypto-boom ended and the effects on GPU makers weren’t so positive. Both AMD and NVIDIA’s shares took a beating, and recently NVIDIA’s fourth largest share holder has decided to sell their stocks. What’s your take on it?
VK: Crypto-currency may come and go, but our core market has always been and will continue to be the gaming industry. That hasn’t changed and won’t change in the future either. As for investors, when they see how we change the very fundamentals of game rendering with raytracing and RTX, they’ll come around.
That was our chat with the NVIDIA Consumer Marketing Head for South Asia, Vamsi Krishna. While he may not have said anything that we didn’t already know, it doesn’t look like NVIDIA is planning to slash the prices of the RTX cards anytime soon. Furthermore, events like Gameconnect show how far ahead NVIDIA really is compared to AMD in Asia and how little competition they actually have in counties like India and Sri-Lanka.
That’s it for now. Do let us know what you think about all this. Cheers!