Bots versus normal people in trying to buy the next-gen consoles, who will win?


Since the release of the two next gen consoles, bots have been swiping all the limited stock right off the shelves, to resell for more than double the price. 

Many people want one of the next gen consoles and did not buy them for a variety of reasons. The main reason being that it was too difficult. This was because of reasons like how the consoles are only being sold online by most stores because of CoronaVirus, because the bots are buying all the stock, and because there is limited stock. Some people also think that the prices for the consoles are too high so they’re going to wait until they depreciate in value because of stock increasing and demand decreasing. 

CFHS freshman Luke Nelson really wants the PS5.

“If I were to get a Playstation 5, it would be any time within the next 2-10 years, when there is less economic stress and the demand is lower because that’s when the price will be lower,” Nelson said.

 Right now there is economic stress because of Covid-19 and that is causing there to be less stock. Nelson thinks that he will get a PS5 when it’s less difficult, and less expensive when the stock of the consoles increase and the demand decreases. In essence, when the difficulty to get a next-gen console lowers, many more people will be buying them because right now it’s extremely difficult. 

Another reason why it’s so difficult to get one of the next-gen consoles is because electronic bots are being used to instantly buy almost all of the limited stock, instantly, whenever they’re released. The bots then use that stock to resell for a much higher price, usually more than double. 

“Your only real option is ordering a PlayStation or Xbox online to be delivered, but many retailers sell out within minutes of receiving new ones. With demand high, supply low and no measures in place to stop individuals from purchasing several systems at once, the units are being swept up consistently and aggressively by scalpers,” stated The Spokesman Review. Also, “resellers are using ‘bot’ software that enables them to buy items faster than any human being could,” as stated by Business Insider. 

People referred to as “scalpers” or “resellers” are using bots to get their hands on lots of the new consoles instantly, so that they can resell for much higher prices. 

Among the bots, there are other reasons why the consoles are so hard to get their hands on. One of those reasons being the high demand and low stock. Among the bots, there are other reasons why the consoles are so hard to get their hands on. One of those reasons being the high demand and low stock. 

For a lot of people trying to buy a PS5, getting the item into their digital cart is a struggle as thousands of other people attempt to do the same thing at exactly the same time. Walmart’s website, for instance, has outright crashed multiple times while attempting to deal with the massive influx of PS5 customers. By the time they reach checkout, they’re greeted with the unfortunate news that stock has already been depleted,” said Business Insider. 

In other words, the consoles are not only hard to obtain because of the bots, but also because of their low stock and all the people who want them. 

According to Newsweek, “Both versions of the console—a disc and digital-only—were only available online because of the COVID pandemic, meaning gamers were not only competing among themselves but also battling scalpers, people using bots or other technology to buy consoles as soon as they became available before reselling them for upwards of $1,000.” 

To sum up, the consoles are only being sold online because of the CoronaVirus pandemic, and that adds an additional struggle for people trying to buy one of the next-gen consoles. 

On November 27, Gamestop did in fact sell the consoles in-store. However, the problem was that there was very limited in-store stock and so many people going there to try to get it.

 “GameStop Corp. employees across the country were caught by surprise on Saturday when the video-game chain suddenly announced new shipments of the highly coveted PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, sending customers flocking to stores,” said Bloomberg. 

Gamestop had a very limited supply of the next-gen consoles in store on November 7, wth many people flying there to try to obtain them. 

Now, the next-gen consoles are still being sold at Gamestop but it is unpredictable when that few stock comes to store. This is because it is unknown whenever new shipment of the consoles may arrive at the store. 

According to Business Insider, “Some GameStop stores have had consoles for sale in-store, but availability depends on when they’re shipped.” 

In other words, even though Gamestop will sometimes have some stock in stores, it is unknown exactly when that is because of the unpredictable shipment to the stores. 

So, right now many people want one of the next-gen consoles but there are reasons why they have not been able to get their hands on either. The main reason being because of the scalpers, also known as resellers, that use electronic bots to instantly obtain the consoles.

 According to CNET “Few gamers have managed to snag a PlayStation 5 to date. Sony’s next-generation console launched back on Nov. 12 of last year, and inventory quickly proved to be no match for demand. In the months since, we have seen a number of inventory drops occur at major retailers, but few people have actually managed to claim a console since ordinary users have had to compete with bots and resellers. Right now the only consoles you can buy are marked up to obscene levels on sites like eBay and StockX, often multiple times their retail value of $400 or $500.”