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Nvidia: Consoles to have better graphics than PCs? Pssh

The company's senior vice president of content and technology says that the best graphics are, and will continue to be, on PCs.

James Martin/CNET

The possibility of consoles topping PCs in graphical fidelity is nil, according to Nvidia.

Speaking to Australia's PC Power Play in an interview posted recently, Tony Tamasi, Nvidia senior vice president of content and technology, said that "it's no longer possible for a console to be a better or more capable graphics platform than a PC."

"Nvidia spends $1.5 billion per year on research and development in graphics, every year, and in the course of a console's lifecycle we'll spend over $10 billion into graphics research," Tamasi said. "Sony and Microsoft simply can't afford to spend that kind of money."

Tamasi's point is well taken. For years, PC gamers have laughed off console graphics. PCs, with high-powered GPUs, are able to deliver outstanding graphical fidelity outstripping consoles. Those with lower-end graphics chips, however, aren't able to separate themselves so easily.

But Tamasi's comments might also be the result of some sour grapes. Advanced Micro Devices, Nvidia's chief rival, earned the contracts for the GPU in both the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Nvidia, therefore, needs to generate its cash off PCs.

For their part, Sony and Microsoft have said that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will deliver PC-like graphics at launch. And on some titles, it's possible the consoles will match up. Over time, however, Tamasi argues (and probably rightfully so), GPU upgrades will help PCs again establish a graphical chasm.

"Nobody can build anything bigger or more powerful than what is in the PC at the moment," Tamasi said.