AMD has addressed the RX Vega 64 pricing and stock issues in a statement, and the things don’t look encouraging.
AMD’s Responds to Radeon RX Vega 64 Pricing Issue
Earlier this week, AMD launched its RX Vega 64 with an MSRP of $499. As it happens with any hotly anticipated product launch, the demand outstripped the supply and the card quickly went out of stock.
Since then, there have been reports that the $499 price tag was “launch only” pricing. AMD would kill the standalone air-cooled RX Vega 64 SKU, effectively selling all cards in the $599 Black Pack, which includes two games for free along with the card.
AMD has now released the official statement on the RX Vega 64 pricing issue, and the response is much as we expected.
“Radeon RX Vega64 demand continues to exceed expectations. AMD is working closely with its partners to address this demand. Our initial launch quantities included standalone Radeon RX Vega64 at SEP of $499, Radeon RX Vega64 Black Packs at SEP of $599, and Radeon RX Vega64 Aqua Packs at SEP of $699.
We are working with our partners to restock all SKUs of Radeon RX Vega64 including the standalone cards and Gamer Packs over the next few weeks, and you should expect quantities of Vega to start arriving in the coming days.”
How much control AMD have over the Vega retail pricing?
So the statement from AMD clarifies that the company has no grand plan of killing off its standalone RX Vega 64 and that it’s doing its best to bring the entire Vega lineup back to stock.
But the thing is, the Black Pack was never out of stock in the first place; it was all about the standalone card. The supply of the card was so low that it ran out of stock within minutes of launch.
What makes it a low blow is the reason AMD gave for RX Vega delay which was to accumulate stock for launch and yet it suffered the worst stocked GPU launch in history. Even if AMD manages to restock the standalone RX Vega 64, I doubt it could ever satisfy the demand.
The Vega 64 Black Pack consists of just a couple of games in addition to the card—with potential discounts on other hardware—and it costs $100 more. If the retail outlets can sell every Vega 64 they get, why not simply add the game codes and sell it at $599 rather than AMD’s $499 suggested etail price (SEP) for the standalone card.
What could AMD do to stop them from doing exactly that? Apparently, nothing. According to the team red, they are “trying to do everything we can to put Vegas in gamers’ hands at SEP, but we don’t have direct control.”
We know from reviews that Vega 64 beats Nvidia’s GTX 1080 by a slight margin, and that is in select gaming titles. If the re-stock doesn’t happen at the same SEP as before, the price-per-performance value of the AMD card will drop significantly. In that case, the reviews will no longer be relevant since they’re based on the $499 MSRP.