Apparently, MSI has not had a US-based online store until now (opens in new tab). This seems like a bit of an oversight in 2021. Even so, MSI has some decent hardware, and making that kit easier to get your hands on has got to be a good thing. It's even promising some exclusive gaming desktop PCs for the store. All sounds good so far.
The problem with anyone attempting to open an online store in the midst of a silicon shortage is fairly obvious: There's a distinct lack of certain types of really key hardware around right now.
I'm talking about fundamental things for gaming PCs, such as graphics cards. But, MSI makes its own graphics cards (opens in new tab), so is this an opportunity to get your hands on a shiny new graphics card direct from the manufacturer at a reasonable price?
A quick look at the Nvidia 30-Series page reveals this jaw-dropping selection:
The fact the few cards that are listed come from the top of the current Nvidia stack doesn't help, but is that really an RTX 3090 Suprim X for $2,299.99 (opens in new tab)? I'm good thanks, that was already pricey at $1,799 when it first launched. Oh wait, you can't actually buy any of these cards anyway, but you can get MSI to notify you when these ridiculously priced offerings do become available.
Not quite the launch of a gaming hardware store I was expecting.
If you were thinking things might be better on the AMD Radeon side of things, then I've got some more bad news for you:
Pages of misery then? Not quite, there are full systems to be had on the Desktops page (opens in new tab), and while some of these are on the pricey side, others—such as the Aegis R 10TC-087US (opens in new tab)—are more reasonably priced at $1,550. That gets you a GeForce RTX 3060 and admittedly a last-gen Intel Core i7 10700F, but it is at least in stock. Oh, and you get Death Stranding with it as well.
Still, I would have been more excited about being able to just buy the MSI graphics card on its own at a reasonable price. Maybe even around MSRP, not nigh-on double it. Maybe things will improve over time, but we're still a long way from a full GPU shortage recovery.