E3 2006 from a PC Perspective
NVIDIA and VIA: Very Different Approaches
Being the largest supplier of GPUs to the PC gaming world, NVIDIA had one of the biggest presences at E3 of all the PC gaming companies we saw. While there wasn't anything brand new on display that we haven't reported on before, NVIDIA was more than eager to show off their SLI technology in every shape and form.
This gaming zone allowed gamers to pit against each other in some multiplayer action for prizes like video cards and t-shirts.
There were at least a couple dozen games in development on display at the NVIDIA booth as well, such as this Hitman sequel seen here. Gamers were allowed to walk and get a taste of the upcoming titles and usually had developers standing watch to answer any questions.
NVIDIA did a good job of supporting the PC gaming genre this year and we were proud to see the strength of the industry shown in their booth area. I must admit I was disappointed to find ATI had no pressence at all at E3 this year; no booth, no kiosks, no banners. It might make for an interesting 2006.
VIA has been one of my favorite computer companies for a long time at both Amdmb and PC Perspective. Long before AMD, NVIDIA or Intel, VIA made the only real enthusiast chipset that allowed gamer's to tweak their systems in a time when it wasn't really acceptable. In recent years, VIA has fallen prey to part delays and the battle over SLI and CrossFire, to which they are on NO side. As such, there presence in the gaming world has fallen.
That doesn't mean that VIA is not planning on making headway at all. Just recently, VIA/S3 released their MultiChrome technology, there own version of multi-GPU rendering with two S3 Chrome GPUs. These cards are already available at Newegg and several reviews can be found around the web; we are working on one as well.
Other than the MultiChrome demo, VIA was also showing off a design for a UMPC, ultra mobile PC. These were debuted at CES this year and Microsoft hopes that they will revolutionize the mobile PC market by allowing users to travel lighter and farther with small form factors and longer battery life.
The unit here was pretty nice and had good integration of the software keyboard and touch panel display. Surfing around the web was easy enough with the external controls able to cover just about any input you might need without having to use the included stylus.