After dealing with months of limited supplies and aggressive scalpers, buying a graphics card or gaming console is becoming easier. They’re not back to manufacturer suggested retail prices (MSRP) yet, but prices have dropped and availability has increased for all in-demand Nvidia and AMD graphics cards, as well as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, since January. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to buy, it might finally be here.
How much do GPUs cost now?
According to Tom’s Hardware, most GPUs only cost $US200 ($278)-$US300 ($416) more than the sticker price right now. An extra $US200 ($278)-$US300 ($416) is still out of the budget for many customers eager to upgrade their PCs, but it’s much better than double or triple the price like some sellers were listing new GPUs and consoles just a few months ago. Some devices are selling for even lower, with the Xbox Series S now selling for the normal $US300 ($416) MSRP from most retailers. And best of all, stock isn’t disappearing the moment new units appear.
Why are GPUs and consoles finally cheaper?
This is great news for gaming enthusiasts, but why are prices finally dropping? As The Verge points out, there are probably a few factors at play: First, import tariffs that affected tech products have expired and the global semiconductor shortage is finally abating, so some manufacturers are able to drop prices and restore stock faster than before.
Second, third-party resellers simply aren’t seeing the same demand as they were just a year or two ago. That’s partially because the US economy is still reeling from the COVID pandemic, and some customers aren’t buying expensive luxury items like graphics cards or PS5s. However, according to Tom’s Hardware’s report, GPU sales are actually rising — likely thanks to manufacturers having lower prices and more stock — so fewer customers need to buy through eBay and other resellers.
Similarly, the cryptocurrency and NFT boom is slowing. Whether that’s a sign the bubble finally burst or the market is temporarily stagnating depends on who you ask — but the upshot is fewer crypto mining startups are buying up graphics cards in huge numbers. It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to buy PC parts when you’re not competing against the entire crypto mining industry.
Whatever the factors are, the point is: GPU and console prices are the lowest they’ve been in years. Hopefully this trend holds and prices normalize within the next few months. That said, it’s hard to predict how the market will shift, so now might be the time to buy a new Nvidia or AMD GPU, or even a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S, if you have the means to do so.