With the launch of the 8800GT Nvidia has outdone themselves considerably, in one fell swoop they more or less obsoleted their entire product gamut. Upon looking at the benchmark scores and the feature set of the 8800GT, it does not make sense to buy an 8800GTS or even a GTX when the 8800GT has similar or better performance and has more features to boot, at a lower price. And ATI/AMD? Well, they have nothing that even comes close, so the video card that is on everybody's wish list today is Nvidia's 8800GT. That poses a bit of a problem though, because if you try buying one online or at any brick and mortar store you probably will not be able to find one, unless you opt to wait through a long backorder queue.
Haven't we seen this before? Sure, both ATI and Nvidia have seen product launches where upon introduction products have not been available for weeks or even months, due to high demand, limited supply, or both. Nvidia even made a big issue out of having products available at introduction to fill the demand at previous product launches, but this time around they seem to have somewhat missed their mark. That begs the question as to why there was such a high demand at the 8800GT launch and why Nvidia is not initially able to fill it? Honestly, that question has a simple answer: bang for the buck - never before has a $250 video card offered this much performance. Traditionally products with this kind of performance had at least a $500 price tag, which simply made it too expensive for majority of prospective buyers.
Actually, Nvidia did not just launch a very competitive video card, they launched it at a price point that is a far cry from the $500 video card launches we have been accustomed to before. Lets hope that this trend continues and that we have seen the last of those $500 behemoths that nobody could really afford anyway. It will be interesting to see whether ATI/AMD will be able to follow suit, as further price reductions to keep their products somewhat competitive would only put more strain on their problematic financial situation. For many customers, however, it is a time to rejoice, here is a $250 video card that will let you play Crysis, BioShock, Quake Wars, Unreal Tournament 3 and Valve's Orange Box of gaming bliss at highest resolution. Lets hope they are back in stock before the Christmas shopping frenzy starts as I am surely buying one for myself, or at least I hope my girlfriend is, as it is at the top of my Christmas wish list.