What just happened? We don't need reminding of the graphics card industry's current state. Chip shortages, high demand, scalpers, and low yields have created the perfect storm of shortages. So, what does GameStop decide to do? It starts selling them alongside other PC hardware.
During an earnings call yesterday with investors, GameStop CEO George Sherman said (via PC Mag) that the company would be expanding its product catalog to include offerings across PC gaming hardware. This includes "computers, monitors, game tables, mobile gaming, and gaming TVs to name only a few."
"These categories represent natural extensions that our customers would expect to buy from us, expanding our addressable market size by over five times, and over time, will reduce our reliance on the cyclicality of the console-based gaming market," he added.
GameStop has produced weekly ads showing its lineup of PC hardware. It includes RTX 3000 cards, motherboards, PSUs, cases, and monitors.
Sherman added that GameStop's website would also include pre-built desktops, laptops, game tables, and gaming TVs. It's now live at GameStop.com/PCGaming. The online store lists the entire RTX 3000 range, all of which are out of stock, naturally, but some have expected arrival dates of April 16. While the current situation means prices are way above MSRP, they're comparable to Newegg's, with some cards slightly cheaper and others more expensive.
The store also has routers, CPU coolers, thermal paste, and more. There doesn't appear to be any processors, though.
The website has both delivery and in-store pickup options. Whether the company will eventually sell the hardware within its stores, perhaps at a discounted price, remains to be seen. Here's hoping GameStop goes down this route as it can make life harder for scalpers.
GameStop's foray into PC hardware comes as the company reported a drop in sales for the fourth quarter of 2020, down to $2.12 billion from $2.19 billion a year ago.
It's been bad news this week for those hoping to grab an RTX 3000-series card. We recently heard that the global chip shortage is getting worse, and Asus suggested that low "upstream" production yields from Nvidia are part of the problem.