To be honest, we should have seen this coming. After Nvidia’s questionable launch of its RTX 30 Series cards and its continued unavailability, AMD seemed poised to do good where its competitor didn’t. However, that’s not what we, and consumers across the world experienced today. AMD’s launch of its RX 6800 and 6800 XT was as rocky as it gets, with reports of stock selling out the instant it became available from multiple retailers.
A tweet from the Hardware Canucks shows statements from B&H and MemoryExpress on the launch of AMD’s newest cards and their availability. B&H said that availability for the new cards “is extremely limited” and that “At this time, B&H does not know when and to what extent we will receive product to offer for sale.” To that end, the electronics retailer has refused to accept preorders or any regular orders for the RX 6800 and 6800 XT. Currently, it seems that B&H does not know when it will receive stock for sale. Likewise, MemoryExpress declined to put up any listings for the graphics cards due to the “extremely limited release.”
Can we call it a paper launch?
The issues surrounding the availability of AMD’s latest cards didn’t end at digital storefronts. Users on Twitter responding to a recent post from Microcenter on the launch of the RX 6800 and 6800 XT complained about a lack of any stock in brick and mortar stores. One user reported that the store they waited in front of didn’t end up having stock of any cards, while another claimed that only two 6800 XTs and ten 6800s were available with “at least 100 people in line.”
As a result of the incredibly low availability, AMD’s launch for its latest cards has been dubbed a “paper launch.” Simply put, this means that AMD technically released its latest graphics cards, but without enough stock to satisfy any reasonable measure of demand. This is a case of a product coming out before it can be available in high quantities. This term has been thrown around a lot recently, but we think we can use with certainty following today’s tidings. Regardless, the situation doesn’t bode well for graphics card availability leading into the holiday season. If anyone’s planning on building a high-end computer any time soon, it might be a good idea to adjust your expectations to next year.