Nvidia says buying Arm will ‘spur competition’ in gaming consoles

An interesting twist in the Arm saga.

nvidia arm consoles
Image via Alex Walker

Nearly two months after the United Kingdom launched an inquiry into Nvidia’s purchase of Cambridge-based Arm, Nvidia has argued its acquisition of Arm will actually improve competition in the console space.

Nvidia is in the middle of trying to save its $40 billion buyout of the British chip manufacturer, after the United States’ FTC sued and UK regulators ordered a national security inquiry into the deal. Nvidia has now formally responded to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) with a massive submission.

But the most interesting bullet point is found under subsection D of section 5. It’s here where Nvidia states the Arm acquisition will “spur competition in consoles”. Nvidia claims it would have to make a sizable effort to help Arm compete with AMD and Intel’s x86 chips which currently dominate the console market, apart from the Nintendo Switch which is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra hardware.

Considering Arm doesn’t produce CPUs for PCs or consoles, Nvidia’s move to “grow and enhance Arm IP” could create the invigorated competition. The CMA’s inquiry is centered on whether the deal is harmful to consumers. “The chip technology industry is worth billions and critical to many of the products that we use most in our everyday lives,” said CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli.

“We will work closely with other competition authorities around the world to carefully consider the impact of the deal and ensure that it doesn’t ultimately result in consumers facing more expensive or lower quality products.”

There’s no signs as to which way this inquiry will swing following Nvidia and Arm’s latest submission. The CMA will submit a final report by May 2, 2022.