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Thursday, June 6, 2024

Hype around the launch of its new GeForce graphics cards is going to cost Nvidia

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Nvidia has confirmed that the inventory of graphics cards in the channel has almost returned to normal, and that it is expecting that to remain the case throughout at least the next three months. That’s from Nvidia’s futuristic Q1 2023 (where did 2022 go?) earnings call, where it’s again posted record revenue; this time of $8.3 billion. Though Nvidia is expecting the money it makes from us gamers to decline as we all get excited about the new gaming GPUs it’s releasing later this year.

“Channel inventory has nearly normalized and we expect it to remain around these levels in Q2,” says Nvidia CFO Colette Kress. Though she did admit that it couldn’t precisely detail the demand that might come in from cryptocurrency mining. Though she kind of had to say that given the $5.5 million fine Nvidia got slapped with the other week.

“The extent in which cryptocurrency mining contributed to Gaming demand is difficult for us to quantify with any reasonable degree of precision,” says Kress. “The reduced pace of increase in Ethereum network hash rate likely reflects lower mining activity on GPUs. We expect a diminishing contribution going forward.”

Gaming is also likely to have a diminishing contribution to Nvidia’s bottom line in the next few months, too, as impact from the Covid lockdowns in China, and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, are predicted to materially impact its bottom line to the tune of $500 million. 

CEO, Huang, says that its halted sales to Russia once made up around 2% of Nvidia’s company revenue, and maybe a larger percentage than that of specific gaming revenue.

But then preparations for the next lineup of GeForce GPUs, codenamed Ada Lovelace, are also expected to put a crimp in Nvidia’s GPU-selling style.

“Overall, end demand remained solid though mixed by region, and demand in Americas remained strong,” says Kress. “However, we started seeing softness in parts of Europe related to the war in the Ukraine and parts of China due to the COVID lockdowns. 

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“As we expect some ongoing impact as we prepare for a new architectural transition later in the year, we are projecting Gaming revenue to decline sequentially in Q2.”

We still don’t know exactly when ‘later in the year’ is going to be, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be July as some have speculated. Though an announcement in either July or August would certainly impact sales in those months of existing GPUs, especially if an actual on-shelf release didn’t happen until September.

And, given that Kress only mentions a decline for Q2, there’s a good chance the intimation there is that Q3 may just see the sort of uptick releasing a new generation of GeForce graphics cards might deliver.

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