After the disastrous PlayStation 5 pre-order debacle, it was Nvidia's turn to disappoint players around the world.
Almost every model of the new GeForce RTX 3080 is sold out in several locations. And whoever wants to buy is not happy. In fact, pre-orders went so quickly that some online shoppers wonder if they even happened?
Many potential customers reported that Nvidia's own website never changed from the "Notify" button to "Buy Now". It was only after clicking to buy a Series 20 card that the 3080 was displayed with an “Out of Stock” label. Nvidia's "notify" system was slow even during the draw, as emails with links for the graphics card arrived almost an hour after orders for registered people started.
With the dust settling after a hurricane for the first hour of trying to get pre-orders, the picture isn't much clearer. GPU maker EVGA announced that while their website is sporadic, it is completely sold out and web traffic for the 3080 has been the largest in its history.
Sold out, sorry everyone, I know the site was slow / delayed. We are working to improve it. This is most of the traffic we have ever seen on EVGA
– Jacob Freeman (@EVGA_JacobF) September 17, 2020
When Digital Trends asked Nvidia for an explanation, this is what they had to say. “This morning we saw unprecedented demand for the GeForce RTX 3080 from global retailers, including the Nvidia online store. At 6 a.m. in the Pacific, we tried to push the Nvidia store live. Despite the preparation, the Nvidia store was flooded with traffic and an error occurred. We were able to solve the problems and sales began to register normally. To stop bots and scalpers in the Nvidia store, we're doing everything humanly possible, including manually reviewing orders to get those cards into the hands of legitimate customers. Over 50 major retailers around the world had inventory in the Pacific at 6 a.m. Our Nvidia team and partners are delivering more RTX 3080 cards to retailers every day. We apologize to our customers for the experience this morning. "
Where to buy a GeForce RTX 3080
For those looking for an RTX 3080, here is a handy tracker that will keep inventory of a large number of stores where it would be available. As of this writing, all items are out of stock, with the exception of eBay, where scalpers are already selling 3,080 pre-orders for multiple times the retail value. One listing was $ 50,000 after a furious bidding war.
As a reminder, the retail value of a GeForce RTX 3080 is $ 699.
Some hope that the more expensive and high-performance 3090 cards, which retail for $ 1,499, will be more readily available due to their high cost. But Nvidia has already said that the GPU will be the one with the least inventory, so those dreams may already be destroyed.
While the new consoles and state-of-the-art graphics cards hold the promise of next-generation games, the future seems out of reach for most as retailers struggle to maintain their inventory levels.
Next week it's Xbox's turn. Pre-orders for Series X and S will take place on September 22nd. If the past 24 hours have been teaching, you most likely need to have yours if you want one of these fingers hovering over the refresh button.