Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said in an analyst call that the graphics and AI chip company is “expecting a really large second half for gaming.”

Huang said the pandemic has accelerated interest in gaming, making it the No. 1 form of entertainment around the world. On top of that, he said gaming is benefiting from expanded access.

“The number of different ways you can game has really exploded,” Huang said.

Nvidia pointed to the Nintendo Switch and its success; the company provides the chips for this console. He also noted that gaming is becoming more social, with people hanging out in Fortnite to watch concerts, in addition to playing. And he pointed out that people are streaming gameplay and building new broadcast networks on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube.

While Nvidia doesn’t have chips in the upcoming game consoles, Huang said he expects strong sales of the Sony PlayStation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X.

“It’s going to be the most amazing season ever,” he said.

Huang spoke on a conference call after the Santa Clara, California-based Nvidia posted revenues of $3.87 billion for its second fiscal quarter ended July 26, up 50% from a year earlier. The revenues beat expectations, and non-GAAP earnings per share of $2.18 also trounced expectations as gaming hardware and AI remained in high demand during the pandemic.

Nvidia makes graphics processing units (GPUs) that can be used for games, AI, and datacenter computing. While many businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, Nvidia has seen a boost in those areas.

Gaming revenues in the second quarter ended July 26 were $1.65 billion, up 26% from a year ago.

Back in April, Nvidia launched its Ampere-based A100 GPU, an enormous AI chip with 54 billion transistors and a design based on a new generation of AI technology. Nvidia is expected to unveil its high-end desktop GPUs based on Ampere at its event scheduled for September 1.

Correction, 12:37 p.m. Thursday: CEO Jensen Huang said the Switch was about to surpass the Super Nintendo in sales as Nintendo’s No. 1 platform of all time. That is incorrect. It has already passed the SNES’ sales, and the Wii and DS both have sold more consoles than the Switch so far. 


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