The fix for bots snapping up stock of the latest graphics cards: simply don't sell them online. At least that appears to be Best Buy's answer to the ongoing tussle between man and machine for cutting-edge tech; for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti (opens in new tab) launch, Best Buy will be only selling Founders Edition cards in-store.
"Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition graphics card will have limited quantities available on Thursday, June 3, at select Best Buy stores only," the company outlines in a post. (opens in new tab)
Instead of shifting stock online, and risk bots bypassing the queues, Best Buy will hand out tickets to customers in queue from 7:30 am local time. Customers with a ticket will then be able to exchange it for an RTX 3080 Ti come 9 am local time.
Back to the old school.
Each store will only distribute as many tickets as they have RTX 3080 Ti graphics cards, meaning those who receive them will be guaranteed a card. And only one per customer.
These are the cities and stores which will be stocking the RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition:
It's certainly one way to ensure bots don't get their robo-mitts on brand new GPUs, although it may be a bit of a pain for those who live far away from the participating stores hoping to snap up a Founders Edition. There are custom cards available today from other retailers online, at least. These will be available from 6 am PT / 2 pm BST / 3pm CET today.
Who would have thought we'd be back to in-store only purchases in 2021, but when there's a global chip shortage raging on, it is certainly one way to keep at least a few customers happy.
Here are some tips on where to buy an RTX 3080 Ti today.