Just a few months ago, in March, consumers thought they'd be in for the ride of their lives as Nvidia's imminent Fermi launch would prompt AMD to lower the prices of their 5xxx series graphics cards.
That really didn't go down like that.
When Fermi came out, it was the highest, albeit hottest, single-chip performer on the market and priced accordingly. This also meant that AMD didn't perceive it as a threat for its Radeon HD 5870. The first two chips to have reviewers fawn over were the GTX 480 and GTX 470, which differed ever so slightly between them.
The best Nvidia can do right now is churn out more GF104 chips (ie: GTX 460) and keep interest in the GTX 460s high by lowering prices... and that they did.
Nvidia has confirmed today that they are lowering the price on the much sought-after GTX 460 1GB version (the one with the 256-bit bus) and on the GTX 470. We do see this as, not only a move to pre-empt the AMD launch, but also as a performance indicator for the Radeon HD 6870 and Radeon HD 6850.
The Geforce GTX 460 1GB comes down to £149, which you can easily find at major online retailers right now (Pixmania, Scan). The Geforce GTX 470 lowers its price to £189, although only a few select stores are already putting the price into practice.
So pending the benchmarking that's taking place this week, the details of which will be revealed early Friday, the consumer wins whichever way this turns out.