3dfx Attacking Business Sales With Velocity

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With office productivity software becoming more multimedia oriented, graphics accelerator maker 3dfx has redefined its business model to embrace the business market with its new Velocity line of graphics cards.

3dfx had concentrated its efforts on the PC-gamer community, which requires cutting-edge graphics rendering, the firm's director of consumer products marketing Scott Taylor said. But PCs used in a corporate environment now require similar capabilities.

To make the cards better suited for the business customer 3dfx is using the Velocity name brand -- picked up when it acquired graphics card maker STB last year -- instead of its well-known Voodoo line, which sells into the consumer market.

3dfx was concerned the Voodoo name and packaging would not appeal to corporate buyers because of its reputation as a gaming device. "When putting together the packaging for the Velocity line we're taking great pains to avoid using the Voodoo name anywhere on it," Taylor said.

Despite this separation Taylor does not want gamers to think they are being abandoned. 3dfx will use the Voodoo line to launch new technology into the market that will eventually be used in the Velocity line as it becomes a larger family of business products.

However, he does see Velocity helping balance the company's sales between consumers and business customers. Consumer buyers comprise 80% of the company's revenue, but if sales are even moderately successful to the business community this figure will become more evenly split.

The Velocity 100 and 200 cards ship today and in August, respectively, with suggested retail prices of $69.95 and less than $100, said Taylor. The Velocity 100 features 8MB of memory and 2,046 x 1,536 resolution, and comes with demo versions of several business software titles. The 200 has 16MB of memory and is bundled with the full versions of the software.

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