A lottery for valuable graphics cards and processors went up short on PC part seller Newegg’s website yesterday. It is a testament to the ongoing shortage of all games during the ongoing covid-19 pandemic.
“Newegg Shuffle Event,” screen capsules were stored on Imgur and first reported on by PCMag, invited customers to choose from several packages of AMD Ryzen 5 5600X and 7 5800X GPUs and various AMD motherboards. If they were selected, they would receive an email informing them and then the chance to purchase the packages from Newegg. The lottery system itself seems better than furious to try to load an order page while new shares are being snatched by bots and scalpers, but the accompanying additions meant that PC customers actually went into a raffle for the shot of being sold instead of in fact, only get the specific hardware they were looking for.
“Exactly what the GPU battle needed: RNG loot boxes,” he wrote a commentator in a Reddit thread full of people pounding on the campaign. “The problem is that you do not understand the sense of pride and achievement that comes with winning the chance to pay a huge premium for a combination item you do not want,” replied another.
Newegg did not immediately respond to a request from Kotaku for comment, but told it PCMag that Shuffle Event is currently only being beta-tested, and future versions of it will also include single-purchase items instead of entire packages.
Nvidia and AMD both announced new lines of advanced graphics cards last fall, and they have been almost impossible for most people to get hold of since. That scarcity is probably due to a number of factors, from strained supply chains due to the pandemic to many more who want to improve their gaming rigs while socially distancing and working from home. Miners in cryptocurrency are too an eternal burden in the market for powerful PC parts. Last week, Nvidia announced graphics card supplies would “remain lean through Q1. ”
There has been a similar shortage of next-generation gaming consoles – the new PS5 stock on Amazon today sold out almost instantly – prompting many gamers to request a sort of sneaker-style lottery system to call dibs back in stock when it becomes available. It does not appear to be in the cards at any time. Hopefully if and when such a system rolls out, it will get off to a better start than Newegg’s GPU lottery.