This company started out as runner-up to 3Dfx. At the height of 3Dfx's reputation, the glorious days of the Voodoo 2, nVidia was dusting the benches of its TNT and preparing a deadly response : the TNT2.
You see, the video world is a murderous one, where a very successful and publicly recognized company can go bust in less than two years. If a competitor manages to get a better product onto the shelves, than it's no holes barred to get back the attention and press coverage that ensures lasting sales.
nVidia played the game and won against 3DFX and now are in that very same position against ATI. Some other players are trying to get attention, but prices have gone down so fast, and nVidia has saturated the market with so many low-end models, that carving out a niche of any workable size is already a major feat of perserverance and commitment. And the technology is going too fast for those who play runner-up today.
But let us go over what nVidia's history is :
ATI and nvidia are giving us gamers exactly what we want : terrific
performance. Okay, it costs a pretty penny, but the benefits trickle
down to others and, in the end, everyone wins.
As for marketing, nVidia has beaten everyone into the dust. Never before have there been so many versions of a chip. nVidia is targeting every market, every niche of performance, every single user there is. You cannot go into a hardware store or even a supermarket without finding one version of their chip on the shelf somewhere. Heck, their marketing guys have even schemed great-looking logos for each and every version of their products. Talk about brand awareness - these guys have done their homework and it shows.
Next to this marketing and techological monster, other known names seem practically non-existant.