Nvidia Corp. appears to be betting that a price hike during inflationary times won’t deter hardcore gamers who have been waiting to upgrade their rigs amid a slowdown in consumer demand. On Tuesday, Nvidia
Chief Executive Jensen Huang launched the company’s next-generation “Lovelace” chip architecture, meant to power the company’s foray into the metaverse with its Omniverse platform.
The launch comes at a cost, not only to Nvidia, which had to repeatedly cut its sales forecast this year and take a $1.22 billion charge to clear Ampere-based inventory as consumer demand dried up from pandemic levels, but to gamers, given that Nvidia unexpectedly hiked prices for its chips. “We are somewhat concerned about Nvidia raising prices into a collapsing GPU market, but see the long-term significant positives from these products,” said Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Rolland in Tuesday note immediately following the launch. Lovelace succeeds Ampere, which was unveiled in May 2020, about two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, amid strong demand for gaming cards. When the Ampere-based gaming cards were introduced in September 2020, the top-of-the-line RTX 3090 listed for $1,499, and the mid-tier 3080 at $699. For the respective classes of chip, that’s a 7% price hike for a top-tier chip RTX 4090 to $1,599, and a 29% hike for a mid-tier RTX 4080 to $899. As for the 3090, an upgraded version of the original was going for $1,100 at Best Buy in an advertised $900 price drop. Read: Nvidia sales forecast falls about $1 billion short of expectations, stock falls As a result of the short-term headwinds, Rolland, who has a positive rating …