Today, Nvidia revised its expected numbers for the fourth quarter of the 2019 fiscal year. Why, exactly? Surely we can speculate to why this is happening, however, Nvidia pretty much pointed out the issue on their own. That being poor sales of the RTX line-up of GPUs.
In Gaming, NVIDIA’s previous fourth-quarter guidance had embedded a sequential decline due to excess mid-range channel inventory following the crypto-currency boom. The reduction in that inventory and its impact on the business have proceeded largely inline with management’s expectations. However, deteriorating macroeconomic conditions, particularly in China, impacted consumer demand for NVIDIA gaming GPUs. In addition, sales of certain high-end GPUs using NVIDIA’s new Turing™ architecture were lower than expected. These products deliver a revolutionary leap in performance and innovation with real-time ray tracing and AI, but some customers may have delayed their purchase while waiting for lower price points and further demonstrations of RTX technology in actual games.
Well, Nvidia, let’s discuss why the RTX line-up has been off to a slow start. Where to begin? Oh, how about it’s very expensive. Sure, DLSS and Ray Tracing will likely be amazing when those features are implemented in more than a handful of games. As well as matured a bit. But for now, there’s not really much reason for anyone who already has a GTX 1070, 1080 or 1080 Ti to run out and pick up an RTX card. Short of being given one, sponsored by someone or they have so much money burning a hole in their pocket that an RTX card is their own way to prevent their pants from burning up. Pushing tech at outrageous prices with zero benefits (for now) isn’t the best way to make someone run out and pick up their latest and greatest.
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but as it stands, only Battlefield V supports DLSS and Ray Tracing. That’s it. Oh, wait. I forgot about Quake II – a 22-year old game also supports those features via the Q2VKPT project.
While there’s a bunch of other games that will support it, if I’m buying a card right now and I’m looking to stay within a budget, the pickings aren’t pretty. With the RTX 2080 Ti’s starting at $1300 and above, while the 2080 at $799 and beyond – though you can find some on sale for under that pricing. The only cheaper alternative is the RTX 2070 which is seen as a minor upgrade over the GTX 1080. GTX 1080 Ti owners are stuck with no real upgrade path if they’re strapped for cash. So it would seem that Nvidia’s grand plan to get everyone to upgrade has backfired. That includes discontinuing the production of the last generation’s GTX 1080 Ti.
Speaking of the GTX 1080 Ti, when it launched it was priced at $699! That’s a drop in the bucket when you compare it to the RTX 2080 Ti’s launch price.
I’d love to pick up an RTX 2080 TI. It’s just that, I can’t really see paying for a video card that costs more than my home’s mortgage. That and my wife would completely kick my ass up and down the street. For now, I’ll be holding onto my GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti until they die (which I why I only buy EVGA cards) or I can manage to sell them off for a decent price. Perhaps a price drop might help. Except I don’t see that happening anytime soon. So I suppose I’m part of the reason why RTX isn’t selling well. On the same token, I’m not about to spend money on a piece of tech that doesn’t do anything my current cards don’t already do.
Maybe when those hyped up features are more than a pretty tech demo. Oh, and affordable.