There then are the real heroes; the main-stream cards; the ones that go in the trenches and fight it out in bloody and often fatal battles where price is only slightly more important than performance. Those are the cards sought out by the average Joe Gamer, the guy who knows what value is, knows what performance is, and wants both.
Today NVIDIA has redefined that main-stream market by introducing the GeForce 6800 GS; a card that can only be interpreted by those that follow this industry as a megaton salvo directly at the broadside of ATI's brand new X1600 mainstream battleship, utterly destroying it before it even leaves port.
It's a bit surprising to see NVIDIA release another card in the 6-series line. With the 7-series having been around for over 6 months now I half expected there to be a more top to bottom 7-series offering than what we have so far (there are still only two 7-series SKUs in fact). While there aren't all that many differences between the 6- and 7-series, feature wise, having a complete line would cause less confusion amongst the consumer rank and file and make it easier on NVIDIA's partners when it comes to marketing a new product as… a new product.
I guess if it isn't broke, don't fix it. The 6-series still competes very well, even with the newest competition, and has the features and capabilities needed to see it well into the future. Thinking on it a bit, NVIDIA could easily have taken the NV42 (what the 6800 GS is based on) called it the G73, and marketed the new SKU as the GeForce 7600 GT. It would be difficult to find fault with that considering the capabilities of the NV42 and the time it has been released… not to mention the fact that ATI has done something very similar several times already.