No, AMD did not drop the 3D gaming ball
No one can dispute the fact that Nvidia spent an immense amount of time and money developing a viable 3D ecosystem. However, the rapidly evolving standard has yet to be adopted by the majority of mainstream or core gamers.
And therein lies the dilemma for AMD. Why should the company splash out major funds on technology that is still considered relatively immature by even its greatest proponents?
Yet, Nvidia is determined - somewhat understandably - to press its 3D advantage.
However, there is a significant difference between talking up an impressive product and taking cheap potshots at the competition.
Unfortunately, Nvidia seems to have chosen the latter strategy today by accusing AMD of promoting a "faux open 3D strategy."
"Open 3D initiative is AMD's code for 'we have no 3D strategy so we will let third parties do all the work, control all the quality and support customers with updates and profiles.' The net result is the customer's experience suffers," claimed the latest edition of the weekly nTeresting.
"AMD's disarray in 3D may be the consequence of a lack of strategy or the result of having insufficient resources to develop the technology they need."
What is particularly disturbing about Nvidia's statement is the outright intimation that AMD lacks the resources to develop a comparable ecosystem, which is followed up by yet more speculation in the form of: "If the latter is the case, the problem may resurface in other areas and affect their ability to compete in the future."
Now, maybe AMD made a mistake in failing to devote sufficient resources for the formulation of a more aggressive 3D strategy.
Then again, maybe it didn't. Only time will tell, really.
In the meantime, I can't help but recall a rather interesting conversation I had with an AMD rep at GDC 2010.
According to the rep, mainstream 3D adoption will likely be constrained in the immediate future by prohibitive pricing, lack of content and awkward glasses.
"Nevertheless, this could easily change, with the tipping point being 3D Blu-ray," he said. "If that takes off, 3D may eventually become the norm in the entertainment market."
Clearly, AMD does have a strategy.
If 3D is adopted by mainstream gamers, more money will be allocated to develop and promote a comprehensive 3D ecosystem. But until then, the ROI simply isn't justified.