A Non-Denial Denial

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Apparently, nVidia is sending around an email which says the following:

As you know the company does not comment on rumors and/or speculation.
Like every new product from NVIDIA – the demand is far greater than the limited supply we will have.
NVIDIA’s GeForce FX Ultra 5800 and the GeForce FX 5800 are still targeted to be in retail in late February.

Does this mean those stories about the FX Ultra 5800 being abortware are untrue?

ROTFLMAO!!! Silly you! Of course not!

This is what’s called a non-denial denial. It sounds like a denial but actually doesn’t deny the issue at hand.

Let’s pick this apart together:

Over the last week – there have been a number of rumors on the web in reference to the status of NVIDIA GeForce FX GPUs.

Doesn’t that strike you as being a bit awkwardly phrased? There’s a reason for that. A key principle in a non-denial denial is to answer the wrong question. Nobody’s said anything about FX GPUs; they’ve asked whether or not the Dustbuster FX Ultra 5800 video card will continue to be made or not.

As you’ll see, they don’t answer that.

As you know the company does not comment on rumors and/or speculation.

So what is this press release?

Actually, the statement is true, they aren’t commenting on them at all. 🙂

“Rumors and/or speculation” have a very special meaning in the PR world. It means “comments we haven’t made ourselves yet.”

Gee, does that mean you can say ANYTHING about nVidia and they won’t ever respond to it? If a rumor started (and none of the following is true) that nVidia FX cards are made in China by midget pedophiles who get paid in kids, they wouldn’t comment on that, either? (Never mind the “sacrificing a virgin for each batch” method of quality control. :))

Please.

Like every new product from NVIDIA – the demand is far greater than the limited supply we will have.

This is especially true when you stop making them.

NVIDIA’s GeForce FX Ultra 5800 and the GeForce FX 5800 are still targeted to be in retail in late February.

Sure, they’ll be. The pre-bought FX Ultra 5800 cards will be shipped out and the FX 5800 will start its regular deliveries. The “rumors” don’t deny what’s said in this sentence at all.

Please notice that there is absolutely nothing in this PR statement that is inconsistent with the rumor. If the rumor is true, there’s nothing nVidia said in the statement that doesn’t fit.

Please note that nVidia doesn’t say the one single, simple statement that would kill the rumor. It never says that they’re going to keep on making FX Ultra 5800s.

How hard is it to say, “We’re going to keep making them,” especially when that’s the question being asked?

If you made a product, and people are saying you’re going to stop, and it isn’t true, what’s the first thing you’re going to say in any response?

You’re going to say, “This is not so, we’re going to keep making them.” You certainly aren’t going to say everything but that.

So if you happen to be a press type who runs across a nVidia person, and want to have some fun, all you have to do is ask, “For how long do you plan on making FX 5800 Ultra video cards?” and watch them choke.

Email Ed

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