Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
We have seen far too many paper launches from ATI and NVIDIA in regards to their X800, X850 and 6800 series of graphics adapters. It was repulsive from the beginning and left many people frustrated. Users would see the desiring performance numbers in evaluations, but they had no idea when the cards would finally make it to the market. This was especially the case with high-end cards from both companies and certain mid-end adapters from ATI. Let's just say that the current generation of graphics market was miserable for the end-user.
That being said, the difference between paper launches vs. product availability is about to change with both company's next generation cards. According to the information we received from a reliable source, the reason for paper launches this time was the fact that ATI and NVIDIA was playing a racing game with each other. When you have the "let's see who can bring out the better card to the market first" effect taking place, you know it's never good for the market and the customers. Therefore, they kept making announcements one after another just to remain in the headlines to try to grab onto the market crown before their competition. The plethora of product introductions went back and forth between the two while many industry analysts and customers kept watching the dismal battle between the GPU makers.
Whenever the press inquired about products, we usually got the same replies: chip yield issues, OEMs like Dell buying up the entire inventory, there has always been enough products to meet the demand, and availability on high-end products is almost always unsaturated. We could agree that OEMs bought out inventories, which is fine and probably not the GPU maker's fault, although they could've ramped up their production lines. The last two points, limited high-end product availability and enough products to meet the demand, are completely off the ballpark. If there was enough availability, those who desired the high-end parts would've never paid upwards of $600.00 to get it from eBay or other stores at such prices. And the fact that high-end products have always had limited supply is an unbalanced statement to say the least. We've never had limited supply of 9800XT and 5950 Ultra last time, so what happened with the new product family?
With all that said and done, it appears that ATI and NVIDIA may have learned a lesson from their mistakes. For both companies, it won't be a matter of who brings the next generation of products first, but both will try to reduce the time between paper launches and the time products actually hit the retail shelves, reported an industry insider.