Nvidia to become a software publisher and a digital distribution giant?

Posted by Theo Valich

Following the success of its "The Way Its Meant To Be Played" developer support program, Nvidia has been on ideas to tackle the content distribution dilemma. It is not a secret that publishing giants such as Electronic Arts, Activision or Ubisoft got tangled up in the wave of digital distribution packs such as Steam, Direct2Drive, Netflix or Xbox Live Marketplace. Enter Nzone: Nvidia is currently in a process of developing a digital content distribution platform that promises to make the life of content companies much easier.

Imagine purchasing a graphics card from a partner that does not come with CDs or DVDs, but rather just a key that unlocks a select number of games. And imagine that this game will come from a hardware manufacturer and will include the appropriate and latest driver right away. There are several content distribution platforms that come close to such an idea already, but the thought that Nvidia could be joining the party is certainly new.

It is a very bold idea, but it only goes to show how Nvidia grew into an industry giant that is more than just a hardware manufacturer. To us, the idea of a software distribution that is closely tied to your hardware sounds like a natural evolution, but we still believe that many industry players will be caught off-guard. A small and very limited content distribution program is currently built up at nzone.com, showing Nvidia’s first steps in this space.

We were told that The Way Its Meant To Be Played distribution platform will entirely focus on a consumer model, think of it as an iTunes for games and Nvidia graphics cards. The key challenge at this time is to create a non-intrusive DRM that won’t bother consumers and enables interactions among users

At this time, Nvidia’s content distribution effort remains very limited.  But it might be worth watching this space over time as an expansion is just a matter of time, we heard.