Nvidia is refusing to talk much about its GeForce Partner Programme other than saying it is benign, but AMD has gone from silent to fighting back in less than 24 hours.
Scott Herkelman, Corporate VP and General Manager of AMD Radeon Gaming, addressed AMD resellers via Twitter, not only acknowledging the anti-competitive tactics Nvidia has leveraged against them, but inviting others to share their stories.
The series of tweets coincides with an AMD sales event held in London last week. This was preceded by a blog post from Herkelman where he comes out swinging against Nvidia's GeForce Partner Programme, and references other closed, proprietary technologies like G-Sync and GameWorks.
AMD's new mantra is "Freedom of Choice," a tagline clearly chosen to combat Nvidia's new programme which is slowly taking gaming GPU brands from companies like MSI and Gigabyte, and locking them exclusively under the GeForce banner. The GeForce Partner Program also seems to threaten the business of board partners who are are not aligned with the programme.
Herkelman, who was once a former GeForce marketing executive at Nvidia said: "I wanted to personally thank all of our resellers who are attending our AMD sales event in London this week, it was a pleasure catching up with you and thank you for your support. Many of you told me how our competition tries to use funding and allocation to restrict or block your ability to market and sell Radeon based products in the manner you and your customers desire. I want to let you know that your voices have been heard and that I welcome any others who have encountered similar experiences to reach out to me."
Nvidia's tactics appear to be turning nastly with Kyle Bennett of HardOCP, the author who broke the original story, suddenly finding that Nvidia has begun a disinformation campaign against him and telling anyone who will listen that he was paid handsomely for publishing the story.
Apparently Nvidia said that running the story could "damage the relationship" between HardOCP and NVIDIA. That would mean that HardOCP would be unlikely not be doing any Nvidia GPU reviews at launch time. It is very likely that AIBs and OEMs will be instructed to not to sample HardOCP for reviews on any of their video card products as well. If you do see Nvidia video card reviews on HardOCP in the future, those will likely be fully funded in-house, as it will be required to buy all of the review hardware from retail sources.
It seems that Nvidia has not worked out that making threats or playing dirty against the press tends to backfire, as most of us tend to stick together when companies do this sort of thing. We tend to think, maybe there is no smoke without fire.
Given that an AMD versus Nvidia court case is looking inevitable, harrassing journalists is going to look very grim for Nvidia in court.