The launch of the RTX 3080 was a disaster.
RTX 3080

This week saw an arms race between the PlayStation 5 and the Nvidia RTX 3080 as they both tried their damnedest to be purchased by as many people as possible in as short a time as possible. Both suffered from a small supply of stock. Both suffered from busy websites crashing as people tried to get their orders in. One, the PlayStation 5, had surprised purchase windows popping up over the course of a day following its price and release date reveal. The other, the RTX 3080, had a set time period where people bum-rushed sites to get the severely limited stock. Neither one of these two options really worked out well for either Sony nor Nvidia.

Out of the two companies, only Nvidia has come forth to explain just how much they cocked up the launch of their new hardware.

Nvidia and their partners screwed up the launch so badly for the RTX 3080, that Nvidia had to put together a special Q&A page detailing just how badly it is that they screwed up.

The reception to our NVIDIA Ampere architecture GPUs has been off the charts and driven interest to heights we’ve never previously experienced. A few examples compared to our previous launch - 4 times the unique visitors to our website, 10 times the peak web requests per second, and more than 15 times the out clicks to partner pages.

We expected the best ever demand for the RTX 30-series, but the enthusiasm was overwhelming. We were not prepared for this level, nor were our partners. We apologize for this.
Nvidia admits that they underestimated the demand for the RTX 3080 graphics cards. They also admit that while the card is in full production, they also didn't get the GPUs out to their partners until August. For a piece of hardware that was set to release on September 17, that really did not give partners much time to get their own production going.

Continuing on, Nvidia addresses how their store went immediately from a "notify me" option to immediately going out of stock once 6AM (PT), the release time on the 17th, rolled around.

You said the NVIDIA store would have GeForce RTX 3080s at 6 a.m. on September 17th, why did the store immediately go from “notify me” to “out of stock”?
At 6 a.m. pacific we attempted to push the NVIDIA store live. Instantly, the NVIDIA store was inundated with over 10 times the traffic of our previous generation launch, which took our internal systems to a crawl and encountered an error preventing sales from starting properly at 6:00am pacific. We were able to resolve the issues and process orders later than planned.

I saw individuals who use bots/scripts celebrating the purchase of multiple GeForce RTX 3080 GPUs! Did bots get all of the available supply?
No. While individuals using bots may have shown images of email inboxes filled with confirmed orders, NVIDIA has cancelled hundreds of orders manually before they were able to ship.
To combat further issues with bots, Nvidia says that they have taken several steps to ensure that things will go more smoothly when additional batches are made available for sale. They have moved the store to a dedicated environment. They have also updated the code to be more efficient on the server. They have also finally integrated a CAPTCHA to the checkout process in order to combat bots. Yes, the Nvidia Store did not even have a CAPTCHA as an anti-bot measure for the initial sales, upsetting a great many consumer.

Nvidia does also claim that they had some preventative measures already in place to stop bots.

The NVIDIA Store had many behind-the-scenes security measures in place which proved sufficient for previous launches. This is the first time that we have seen bots at this scale and sophistication. Since launch, we have been quickly working on numerous security upgrades, including CAPTCHA. We will also continue to manually monitor purchases to help ensure cards get in the hands of legitimate consumers.
As it stands, a number of Nvidia partners are expecting to see additional stock appear as early as this week. EVGA alone says that they are expecting "thousands" of cards to be made available some time this week. Some retailers of these cards don't expect to see any additional stock until early to mid-October.