We’re about a month out from the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, and a vast majority of people are still struggling to get their hands on the new consoles. Not only is it due to a general scarcity of new devices, but also because scalping has become an artform for some people, as people use bots to buy up stock and then resell them for a profit. A quick search on eBay shows PlayStation 5s running for anywhere from double to four times the price of what the system is supposed to be sold at, and let me tell you now as a person who was lucky enough to get one: there is no reason for you to spend $2000 on a PlayStation 5.
It turns out, the issue has become so widespread, UK politicians are making moves to try and make all the steps required for this to happen illegal in the country. As VGC reports, members of the Scottish National Party tabled an Early Day Motion (a motion proposed by Members of the Parliament that formally bring attention to a subject in order to begin debate and discussion) calling for proposals “prohibiting the resale of gaming consoles and computer components at prices greatly above Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price.” The motion also mentions making the resale of goods obtained through using bots illegal, and has been signed by 21 Members of the Parliament. [Thanks Eurogamer]
Here’s an excerpt from the motion:
“…new releases of gaming consoles and computer components should be available to all customers at no more than the Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price, and not be bought in bulk by the use of automated bots which often circumvent maximum purchase quantities imposed by the retailer.”
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As of this writing, there’s no set date for when discussions around the issue will begin, and it’s uncertain if this will even go anywhere. But the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S launches have been basically unheaved by how pervasive scalping has been over the past month since they launched. Buying and reselling new tech is a fairly common practice, and has been for many years, but the more advanced bots get the more prevalent it gets. That’s not even taking into account how many companies are mainly selling their stock online due to the coronavirus pandemic, as stores are taking fewer in-person pre-orders in order to keep people from camping outside retailers in hopes of getting the latest hotness.
I know the temptation is real to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S for literal thousands of dollars, but a majority of games that are out on these consoles are still available for previous generation systems as well. And by the time there are more exclusives to really bolster the value of the consoles, there will be more supply so you won’t have to pay ridiculous prices to get your hands on the already pricey boxes.