A reader is angry about the current situation with PS5 and Xbox Series X scalpers and puts the blame squarely on Sony and Microsoft.
There’s usually a defence force for everything but scalpers are so universally hated that I’ve barely seen any defence at all of their actions online. It’s easy enough to imagine one though: that they’re simply taking advantage of an obvious opportunity to make easy money, in a situation where nobody is really hurt (at worst you miss out on buying an entirely inessential luxury item for a few months).
The more I’ve thought about it though the more I don’t blame them. That stuff about putting food on the table probably is true to some degree, for some of them at least, and given how pathetically it easy it is to take advantage of the pre-order system I’m no longer sure I even blame them.
The absurdity of it all is that here we are trying to buy state-of-the-art consoles, with processing power that would’ve been unimaginable just 10 years ago, and yet apparently nobody can invent a shop website that makes sure that the same person can’t buy more than one console. It’s pathetic.
I applaud sites such as Box (who I have never heard of before but will now be paying close attention to) and Currys PC World (although their system seems to be down more times than it’s up) for trying to work their way round the problem but they seem to be very low tech solutions, with Box essentially just running a raffle for the chance to buy a new console.
Look online and you’ll see people desperately asking why Sony and Microsoft don’t do something about this and yet Sony hasn’t said a thing about the problem, as far as I can see. Microsoft said something about trying to make it fairer with what sounds like something similar to Box’s system. They haven’t actually done it though, and considering we’re now a week into December I assume they’re going to get round to in the same way that I’m going to get round to redecorating the spare room one day.
The very obvious explanation for this is that Sony and Microsoft don’t care. They make the same amount of money whoever buys their consoles and benefit greatly from headlines screaming about them being out of stock – which makes them look super popular and get more people interested in them. But do they care about their fans getting those consoles and enjoying Christmas as they once imagined they would? Clearly not.
The irony here is that we’re right at the start of another bitter console war, with fans of Xbox and PlayStation in a war of words over which is better, defending the honour of their chosen company even as it’s made blindingly clear that that company couldn’t give a damn about them.
But what can we do? I’m not going to pretend I’m suddenly going to boycott either console, and I’m sure you wouldn’t believe me even if I did, so I guess I’ll just wait out the first three or four months of the next gen until I can buy the console at the price it was actually supposed to be.
To hell with scalpers, but they wouldn’t exist if Sony and Microsoft had made the slightest effort to make purchasing their consoles in any way fair or transparent. But they haven’t and they have lost a lot of respect from me for their attitude.
By reader Mork
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