Nvidia is going the more direct route.
Suppose you wanted to buy a new Nvidia GeForce GTX 460. You've decided on the technology, and then you get to pick from a vast array of vendors to find the design (and price point) that's best for you. That's been the model for buying an Nvidia GPU, at least up until now.
Nvidia-branded graphics cards are now trickling into Best Buy, going up head to head against the similar offerings from its partners.
Both Legit Reviews and HardOCP have scooped up the $299.99 GeForce GTX 460 from Best Buy's shelves and found them to be of the reference design. The packaging also makes it abundantly clear that it's designed and built by Nvidia, despite being a product from the Foxconn factories.
Curiously, these products showed up in stores before Nvidia made any sort of announcement. In fact, from the statement that the company's PR gave, it sounded like Nvidia was slightly caught off guard with the appearance in Best Buy.
NVIDIA and Best Buy are working together to offer PC customers the opportunity to experience firsthand the latest in PC technologies right inside Best Buy stores. As part of this broad initiative, NVIDIA is supplying to Best Buy specific GeForce models built and supported by NVIDIA. These products will only be available at Best Buy and will complement GeForce products from our partners. We will provide more details on this next week.
If you've been looking for the most pure, bone stock version of the GTX 460, this is it. Buying from Nvidia will get you a direct support line as well as a three year warranty.