A few days ago the Australian YouTube channel "Hardware Unboxed" has received a communication from NVIDIA in which it was officially banned from receiving hardware to be reviewed in the future as its editorial line seems not to sufficiently highlight ray tracing features.
The email received by the youtuber is as follows:
We've reached a critical juncture in the adoption of ray tracing and it has gained industry-wide support from top titles, developers, game engines, APIs, consoles and GPUs.
As you know Nvidia is all in for ray tracing. RT is important and core to the future of gaming, but it's also one part of our focused R&D efforts on revolutionizing video games and creating a better experience for gamers.
This philosophy is also reflected in developing technologies such as DLSS, reflex and broadcast that offer immense value to customers who are purchasing a GPU. They don't get free GPUs, they work hard for their money, and they keep their GPUs from multiple years.
Despite all this progress, your GPU reviews and recommendations have continued to focus singularly on rasterization performance and you have largely discounted all of the other technologies we offer gamers.
It is very clear from your community commentary that you do not see things the same way that we, gamers, and the rest of the industry do. Our founder's editions boards and other Nvidia products are being allocated to media outlets that recognize the changing landscape of gaming and the features that are important to gamers and anyone buying a GPU today. Be it for gaming, content creation, or studio and streaming.
Hardware Unboxed should continue to work with our add-in card partners to secure GPUs to review. Of course you will still have access to obtain pre-release drivers and press materials, that won't change. We are open to revisiting this in the future should your editorial direction change.
Bryan Del Rizzo
Director of Global PR, GeForce"
This is not the first time this has happened and it will certainly not be the last time that a person belonging to the marketing of a big corp, in the grip of a delirium of omnipotence, send such an email.
The problem is that when a hardware manufacturer sends free preview products to review it is not simply doing charity or an act of favor, but is commissioning in all respects a real work of the reviewer that includes:
- Study and learning the new technology or product to be reviewed
- Preparation and execution of tests and benchmarks
- Analysis of results
- Writing the article or recording the video
- Reviewing the article or editing the video
- Publication of the review in time for the end of the embargo imposed by the manufacturer
All this process can take DAYS or WEEKS of work, which far exceed economically the value of the product shipped. Certainly the manufacturer can freely choose with whom to collaborate and send its product samples, but this does not imply that the independent collaborator must share the editorial lines of the manufacturer's marketing department.
Because of these unholy decisions, a person's credibility and years of work can be seriously questioned, not forgetting the economic impact that such a decision can have on a person who has chosen to do this job.
The impact of the Media
Obviously this email did not go unnoticed and was made public, sparking controversy and positions against NVIDIA. Popular YouTube channels such as LinusTechTips and JayZTwoCents have openly sided in defense of Hardware Unboxed.
Some users have also pointed out that a quote from Hardware Unboxed is still present on the same NVIDIA site on the DLSS page.
The return to its own steps of NVIDIA
The public outcry appears to have taken effect, however, as Hardware Unboxed now reports that NVIDIA has apologized for the email transcribed above. Apparently, the company has "withdrawn everything", which should mean that Hardware Unboxed will continue to receive GPU samples to review.
Pangoly's editorial line is and will always be to provide our users with all the information and technical data objectively, educating the consumer to make decisions based exclusively on their personal and budgetary needs.
UPDATE: Hardware Unboxed has stated that it will publish a video on the matter tomorrow on its YouTube channel.
UPDATE2: The video has been published.