It’s well known by now that Nvidia’s excellent RTX 3080 is near impossible to buy. Availability was already a problem, and that’s before all the cards got snapped up by cooking groups and scalpers.
Naturally, fans are pissed. Nvidia’s understandably issued an apology about the matter, and outlined plans to correct the issue not just for RTX 3080 buyers, but the upcoming RTX 3090 and 3070 cards as well.
It’s not the first time hardware has been popular, and not the first time companies have had a bit of a mess with preorders. But what’s become a real problem this year is the rise of specialist bots and groups dedicated to getting online orders through faster than you can think. It’s been a problem in the sneaker scene for ages, and they’ve already laid the groundwork for selling PS5 consoles and accessories.
Companies clearly weren’t ready for what ensued last week, and Nvidia was no exception. The company posted an official apology on their forums, pledging to manually review orders in the future to ensure scalpers and bots don’t win out.
We saw unprecedented demand for the GeForce RTX 3080 at global retailers, including the NVIDIA online store. At 6 a.m. pacific we attempted to push the NVIDIA store live. Despite preparation, the NVIDIA store was inundated with traffic and encountered an error. We were able to resolve the issues and sales began registering normally.
To stop bots and scalpers on the NVIDIA store, we’re doing everything humanly possible, including manually reviewing orders, to get these cards in the hands of legitimate customers. Over 50 major global retailers had inventory at 6 a.m. pacific. Our NVIDIA team and partners are shipping more RTX 3080 cards every day to retailers.
In Australia, only Mwave has an allocation of the RTX 3080 and 3090 Founders Edition cards. The company — who has a few staff on board familiar with the sneaker community and the scalping that goes on there — announced they’d hold a raffle for preorders. Being successful in the raffle gives one person an opportunity to buy a card, and the cards are limited to one per household, which helps minimise the impact of scalping and bots in Australia.
It’s likely that the raffle system will get rolled out again this week with the limited numbers of RTX 3090 Founders Edition cards in Australia. It’s never been revealed precisely how many cards are up for offer, although the sheer cost of the RTX 3090 might help mitigate some of the interest. Still, it all points to a bigger problem: there’s a whole lot of interest in the RTX 3080 and just not enough cards to sell. Here’s hoping Nvidia sorts that out real soon — or AMD comes to the table with an equally attractive card.