AMD has fired shots at graphics rival Nvidia's GeForce Partner Programme (GPP), which precludes manufacturers from launching Nvidia and AMD products under the same brands, launching a programme of its own built, it claims, on 'freedom of choice in PC gaming'.
Announced late yesterday, AMD's new programme appears to be a direct response to clauses in Nvidia's GPP which state that manufacturers must not launch Nvidia products under the same brand banner as products based on rival companies' graphics processors - which, given Intel's planned discrete graphics card isn't here yet, effectively means AMD. While the announcement by AMD's Scott Herkelman doesn't name Nvidia nor its GPP specifically, it focuses heavily on freedom of choice, openness, and the rejection of what he calls 'gamer taxes'.
'Over the coming weeks, you can expect to see our add-in board partners launch new brands that carry an AMD Radeon product. AMD is pledging to reignite this freedom of choice when gamers choose an AMD Radeon RX graphics card,' Herkelman explains in the announcement. 'These brands will share the same values of openness, innovation, and inclusivity that most gamers take to heart. The freedom to tell others in the industry that they won’t be boxed in to choosing proprietary solutions that come bundled with "gamer taxes" just to enjoy great experiences they should rightfully have access to. The freedom to support a brand that actively works to advance the art and science of PC gaming while expanding its reach.'
AMD's programme, Herkelman claims, is based on four key pillars: the dedication to open innovation; a commitment to true transparency through industry standards, which includes a name-check for AMD's open-standard FreeSync technology as an alternative to Nvidia's heavily proprietary G-Sync equivalent; 'real partnerships with real consistency [with] no anti-gamer/anti-competitive strings attached'; and the expansion of the PC gaming ecosystem.
The first company to sign up to the programme is Asus, which has announced that it will launch AMD-powered graphics cards under the Arez brand in May this year - keeping them separate from its existing Republic of Gamers (RoG) and Strix brands, thus keeping the latter valid for inclusion in Nvidia's GPP.
Nvidia has not issued comment on AMD's programme launch nor on the implicit criticisms levelled against its own partner programme.