Why both PS5 and Xbox Series X didn't choose Nvidia over AMD?

Nike Kidman

Nowadays, in the graphics card industry, there are only two famous brands- Nvidia and AMD. Although these two are in fierce competition, Nvidia preformed better due to its strategies, but why the best game consoles, Sony and Microsoft, chose AMD, but only the Nintendo family chose Nvidia? There might be interesting to talk about.

Why both PS5 and Xbox Series X didn't choose Nvidia over AMD?

Why both PS5 and Xbox Series X didn't choose Nvidia over AMD?

1. Sony

In the ranking of best-selling game consoles of all time, PS2 ranked first with 159 million sales, after the huge succes, Sony immediately deployed the next-generation PS3. The ambitious Sony hopes to have its own standardized processor. As a result, Sony teamed up with Toshiba and IBM. They spent several billions of dollars cooperating to develop the PS3 chip, the CELL processor. However, due to the high-power and low-frequency deficiencies of the first-generation CELL chip, it had to be simplified and transformed, which ultimately weakened the graphics processing capability.

In order to improve the graphics performance of PS3, Sony had to add a discrete graphics card and eventually found Nvidia, but what happened at last? -Nvidia produced a 7900GS customized version of Sony's video memory castration due to the price.

This directly leads to the unsatisfactory graphics performance of PS3, and the combination of "CELL processor+ Nvidia integrated graphics chip" makes game developers miserable. It might be the most difficult game development environment in history. In the end, Sony was not satisfied with this cooperation from Nvidia.


2. Microsoft

Let's take a look at Microsoft.

At first, XBOX has chosen Nvidia over VOODOO after fierce competition in the choice of graphics card for Nvidia's lower offer price.

However, as the saying goes- No fraud, no business. Nvidia claimed they need to increase pricesdue to insufficient GPU production capacity. XBOX encountered a capacity crisis. After the configuration is specified, it is not easy to change. Microsoft had no choice but to negotiate with Nvidia and finally reach an agreement. Since then, Microsoft has kept away from Nvidia. Their next generation of products, XBOX 360, uses ATI chips decisively. In the era of XBOX ONE, it directly uses APU.

Why both PS5 and Xbox Series X didn't choose Nvidia over AMD?

3. Nintendo

So why Nintendo chose Nvidia?

Compared to picture quality, Nintendo pays more attention to the platbility of the host. This feature determines that the configuration of Nintendo Switch is inferior among the three major game consoles, but this does not affect the sales of NS at all. The Nintendo Switch with the NVIDIA Tegra X1 chip made a great success. As of On December 31, 2019, the global sales of NS reached a staggering 52.48 million units, even in short supply. But it is also because of this Tegra X1 chip, which has buried hidden dangers for NS.

As we all know, the most fear of game consoles is being cracked, which will directly affect the sales of consoles and games. As a result, NS was cracked badly in less than a year. This is undoubtedly a heavy blow to Nintendo. What is more fatal is that this crack is directly using the underlying hardware vulnerability of the Tegra X1 chip hardware, which is difficult to fill with subsequent patches.

Although Nintendo launched the enhanced version of NS battery life to immediately plug the loophole from the hardware level. But it is undeniable that this cracking storm has caused serious losses.


With the sudden emergence of APU, PS5 and Xbox Series X both chose the Ryzen processor based on AMD 7-nanometer Zen 2 architecture and the customized GPU (RDNA architecture) based on AMD Radeon Navi series. I believe that with the support of new technologies such as ray tracing, whether it is PS5 or Xbox Series X can bring us a more shocking game experience.

Nike Kidman

Sony went with AMD for the PS4 because AMD could supply a SoC featuring the CPU and GPU cores on one die, using the industry standard x86 for the CPU cores. Nvidia couldn't match this


Sony went with AMD for the PS5 to:

1.maintain backwards compatibility with PS4 games
2.support for the same workflows, tools and methods devs use when developing PS4 games
3.reduce costs, since only AMD (via TSMC) can offer 7nm CPUs/APUs with high yields

avoid having to start from scratch in designing a GPU with Nvidia, and then learning how to maximise gains from that GPU. Nvidia also don't have a semi-custom business, which would add even more complexity


Probably just because Sony already have a good working relationship with AMD after the PS4's development and would rather go with them again for the PS5 rather than risk changing.

ps3 was a fun but terrible console makes a lot sense since obv games have gotten 10x better and hearing devs speak how great ps4 software is. And the relationship is so obv idk why i never thought of it


Nvidia doesn't make x86 CPU's, only ARM, so Sony/MS would have to ALSO buy a separate CPU from Intel or AMD