Retailers in Nagoya, Japan have been going out of their way to find ways to distribute AMD's Zen CPUs. A Twitter user called Nullpo_x3100 today shared a photograph of a vending machine that's part of a lottery distribution system for Ryzen chips.
なにこれｗ新品？August 27, 2021
The machine showcases a bunch of Ryzen 5 5000 Zen 3 and Ryzen 5 3000 Zen 2 boxes, suggesting you could get one of AMD's best CPUs; however, the boxes have nothing to do with what's inside. Instead, the boxes are filled with chips using the original Zen or Zen 2 architecture, as well as Intel Athlon, Pentium and Celeron CPUs. It seems that this has been designed as a clever way for vendors to offload used CPUs. A Zen 2 chip seems to be the best option available.
Based on the translated Twitter comments, the vending machine is actually a lottery system based on tickets. And it's more complex than it seems at first glance. You have to insert a 1,000 yen bill (roughly $10) to get a ticket. There's a 1-in-30 chance that the ticket will unlock a Zen 2 CPU.
You can see the machine in action via the video below:
This does open up a new avenue for frustration, though. Could you imagine buying a number of tickets until you finally get your Ryzen CPU only to watch it get stuck against the glass? Sounds like a hardware nightmare to us.
Of course, this does bring about some questions regarding gambling and PC hardware. Considering the state of the market, however, shopping from traditional retailers is dependent on chance too. For example, there's the Newegg Shuffle, where you can enter to win a chance to buy a low-stocked PC part and often at inflated prices.
Perhaps we'll soon see a vending machine full of AMD RX 6000 or Nvidia RTX 30-series graphics cards surfaces too. We've seen stranger occurrences already.
Japan is one of the world's most technologically advanced countries and one of the hallmarks for completely automated shopping. There are numerous stores where people can grab necessities, pay, and walk out without ever interacting with another human being. Their vending machine game is also advanced, with all types of drinks, like iced coffees, and even face masks available.
However, a CPU vending machine is on a different level. And judging from the Twitter comments, they're not common, even in Japan. Several users showed surprise at this turn of affairs in PC hardware, with several others inquiring as to the stores' location.