Due to the pandemic, Sony decided not to sell the new PlayStation 5 console in retail stores on the day of release, Nov. 12. Instead, fresh batches would be sold online only. Unfortunately, this method would spell doom for a vast number of customers looking to purchase one. I can speak from first hand experience that over the last twenty days, this has been the most disastrous and chaotic console launch in my lifetime.
With the sheer amount of people on each online retailer at the time more units are made available, websites have crashed almost instantly, making it entirely a matter of luck if one is able to secure a purchase. Many have reported being able to add the product to their cart and even pressing checkout, only to be met with the three most dreadful words in American consumerism, ‘Out of Stock.’
This is not nearly the worst of problems plaguing the PlayStation 5’s launch. Scalpers have been thriving off the utilization of retail bots which automatically purchase as many consoles as possible faster than any human could. One scalping group managed to rake in 3,500 PlayStation 5 units, and have been selling them at double the price. Retailers have done virtually nothing in regards to bot protection on their websites (why would they as long as they make money?), and with the PlayStation 5 being sold all-online, bots are making it genuinely impossible for people to acquire this next generation hardware.
Black Friday was cataclysmic as well. GameStop, in a meager attempt to draw business to their dying company, told the public there would be a minimum of two PlayStation 5’s at every location. Many were hopeful that ‘minimum’ meant there might be more available, but in most cases, the first two people in line acquired consoles and the rest of the line went home empty handed.
In a recent interview, President and CEO of PlayStation Jim Ryan stated optimistically that “we’re making more PS5s in this difficult environment then we made PS4s in that launch … [People] can rest assured we’re working really hard to get significant supplies into the market before and after Christmas.”
we’re making more PS5s in this difficult environment then we made PS4s in that launch … [People] can rest assured we’re working really hard to get significant supplies into the market before and after Christmas.”
As the pandemic continues, one can only hope that Sony lives up to their word and provides the supply to meet the demand for the PlayStation 5 throughout this holiday season.
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