Last week AMD announced their Never Settle Reloaded gaming bundle, with several high-profile games available with the purchase of AMD GPUs. This week, NVIDIA follows suit with their own announcement...except this is a "gaming bundle" that's quite different from what we've seen in the past.

We've seen the transition from traditional gaming models to Free 2 Play (F2P) over the past few years, with many MMOs reporting increased revenue from the "free" model compared to monthly subscriptions. F2P has been so successful that quite a few high-end games have skipped the traditional model completely and launched as F2P. NVIDIA's latest bundle targets three of these titles: World of Tanks, Hawken, and Planetside 2.

Part of the reasoning behind the latest bundle is to convince gamers with lower end hardware to upgrade. Based on figures from Valve's latest Steam hardware surveys and NVIDIA's recommended settings for the above games, 36 million gamers don't meet the required hardware specifications for the above three titles. NVIDIA provided some numbers showing performance with their newer GPUs compared to an old 8800 GT as a reference:





In order to open up access to these and other games on NVIDIA hardware (note that Hawken and Planetside 2 both support PhysX while World of Tanks is a 3D Vision title), NVIDIA is offering up to $150 of in-game value with the purchase of a new GTX series GPU.

For GTX 650 and GTX 650 Ti purchases, buyers will receive a $25 credit for each of the games. Purchase a GTX 660 or above and the amount of in-game currency bumps up to $50 per title. While all of the games are technically free, the $25 or $50 credit is enough to get you jump started, and clearly the game manufacturers are hoping that after the initial taste gamers will be interested in forking over additional funds.

Putting things in a different light, the least expensive GTX 650 currently goes for $100 (with a $10 mail-in rebate available right now), so if you're actually interested in playing the above games that's potentially $25 towards the hardware and the rest towards the games. The GTX 650 Ti starts at $140 (with a $20 MIR available), and it offers twice as many CUDA cores with increased memory bandwidth for a fairly sizeable increase in performance. The base GTX 660 starts at $220 right now ($10 MIR), so that would be $70 towards the hardware and $150 towards the games. It increases the number of CUDA cores yet again and also comes with a 192-bit memory interface, effectively more than doubling the performance of the GTX 550 for a comensurate increase in price. (Note that it appears the above promotion also applies to new laptops with GTX 650M or higher GPUs.)

Keep in mind that both the AMD and NVIDIA bundles are delivering new games with hardware that is now several months old at best--in fact, AMD's bundle with the 7800 and 7900 uses hardware that's roughly a year old, and the GTX 680 is from the same era. This is one more way to try and entice users to upgrade, and there's the potential for new hardware to come out in the next few months that will make the current offerings look just a little less shiny. But that's always the case. If you've been sitting on the fence for a few months, this might be enough to push you over and get you to upgrade; at least, that's the hope. The full set of slides are included below for reference.

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  • qzyxya - Friday, February 15, 2013 - link

    What the fuck are you saying. Hes not a fanboy he just has a shitty old computer. Reply
  • stm1185 - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    If Techpowerup is to be believed,
    http://www.techpowerup.com/180009/No-New-GPUs-from...

    No new AMD GPUs for almost all of 2013. Then on the Nvidia side I have been hearing about Titan, but I think Titan wouldn't launch unless Nvidia is delaying it's next gen, because of Titan's size and cost and relative performance compared to potential next gen parts.

    This is looking like a really dry year, and a year in which I plan to upgrade with my Tax Return. Sadly it looks like my 560ti is getting replaced with a 7970 ghz edition, it's not the GTX780 I wanted and IMO DESERVE, but with 2 games I was going to buy anyway, Crysis 3 and Bioshock, it's a much better deal then the GTX 680 and its free 2 play crap points.
    Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    TPU's source is straight from the horse's mouth. Those are official AMD slides. Reply
  • Hume - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    Yeah, because those are EXACTLY the games I want to play first with a new mid to high-end graphics card purchase... /end sarcasm.

    At least with retail games you can re-sell the game codes on EBAY as another form of rebate.

    They should offer a game that runs at 60 fps at max settings for whatever card you are purchasing, so older games for lesser cards, and newer games for more powerful cards.
    Reply
  • A5 - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    You'll probably be able to sell the codes for this stuff, too. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    idk, I feel like these codes would be a PITA to sell. Hardly anybody would trust you. If they were easy to sell, I would totally buy a gtx 660 and sell each 50$ card for 30 bucks. Would mind a 660 for about 120$. Reply
  • thesavvymage - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    wouldnt** need a edit button. Reply
  • MadAd - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    Have you tried Planetside 2? Obviously not, its a beast on high, never mind the unofficial ultra settings. Its a little more forgiving on slightly older cards if you just want to play and dont mind reducing the settings but a latest gen cpu is almost mandatory.

    Give the game time tho, its been released barely 2 months and major patch #2 just hit, its more like buggyside 2 right now but the devs are troopers and actually interact with the community, often daily.

    Its a free to play game, so try it out for nothing, and the devs are committed to only allowing this card money you get (or can be bought with cash) to assist you, but any weapon can be bought with certs earned ingame too ... its truly not pay2win in that respect and its nice to see them do that.

    Lastly where else in the PC FPS gaming can you find battles of literally hundreds of players battling over one base (the Crown) while the rest of the map (up to 2000 players per server) is alive with tanks, aircraft and land troops alike? Its unique in gaming right now, 64 players or less was boring the life out of me tbh.
    Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    "Yeah, because those are EXACTLY the games I want to play first with a new mid to high-end graphics card purchase... /end sarcasm."

    Have you ever heard of the phrase "don't knock it until you try it?" Just because it's Free to Play does not mean it's garbage.

    Keep your caviar tastes to yourself.
    Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    scam ever! Whoever thought of selling virtual goods for real cash was a grifting genius. Reply

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