Just recently, I blogged about how scalpers are a problem for manufacturers and customers. However, this has hardly been stopped so far. In the UK, the launch of the next-generation consoles PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S has now triggered a new debate in politics. There are now discussions about regulating the resale of certain products more strictly and banning bots.
Members of the Scottish National Party have submitted an early day motion for Monday. They are calling for new legal regulations. The aim is to prohibit the resale of game consoles and also computer components far above the recommended retail price. This also seems to allude to the situation around the current GeForce graphics cards from Nvidia, which also suffer from supply shortages and are offered at horrendous prices in online auction houses.
So-called Early Day Motions are brought forward by members of parliament to discuss current topics that deserve special attention. One of the proposals is to ban the use of shopping bots. Data analyst Michael Driscoll found out that the Xbox Series X changes hands for an average of 865 US dollars on eBay. In the case of the PlayStation 5, it is now 1,021 US dollars.
Scalpers are said to be largely responsible for the supply bottlenecks of the game consoles. This also hurts Microsoft and Sony, because they want to see the consoles in the hands of gamers. After all, for the consoles to be a success, game sales are a crucial factor. But scalpers only secure the hardware for resale, which hurts the ratio of games sold per console.
Currently, you have to face reality: Next-generation consoles will likely be hard to come by for several more months. Phil Spencer, the head of the Xbox division, confirmed that the supply bottlenecks will probably last until spring 2021.