Like many of you, your writer is yet to purchase a Sony PlayStation 5.
The console never appears to be in stock; the shortage of product means that the market price is still inflated, and, on top of that, nothing has been done to stop scalping websites that continue to profit whilst children – and adults – suffer without their shiny new toys.
I, personally, refuse to participate in this morally reprehensible practice and that’s why I, a long-time gamer, don’t yet have a PS5.
Nevertheless, a recent story doing the rounds on GameRant suggests that one single supplier of PS5 consoles has now sold more than 100,00 of the consoles at way above RRP, which is entirely infuriating reading.
The supplier/scalper in question is StockX, which claims to have sold 138,000 PS5s, 55,000 digital units, and 83,000 disc-drive models since Sony first launched its NextGen product in November of last year.
StockX has been selling the disc models, which are worth £449 on the actual market, for £567. The digital editions, which are worth £349, have been going for £490, which is significantly more than the actual market value.
This is a shameful and disgusting practice, particularly in this post-pandemic climate in which so many people are struggling for money.
It’s not just larger scalping companies like StockX that are ruining the fun for gamers, mind: in recent months, thousands of PlayStation 5s have appeared on the original e-commerce site eBay at wholly unreasonable prices, often going for as high as £900!
How can this shameful practice be allowed to continue for much longer?
Is anything being done to combat PS5 scalpers?
In February, the UK minister of state for digital and culture, Caroline Dinenage, went on record, stating that state officials had been deliberating over a bill (the Gaming Hardware Automated Purchase and Resale Bill) that would finally make console scalping illegal.
That said, a similar bill was introduced to counter ticket scalpers not so long ago, yet try buying tickets for any major concert to see how that bill is working out for the UK general public – I had to move heaven and earth to take the wife to see the Spice Girls for her birthday!
Hopefully, the government will take action on the matter of console scalping sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, please do not buy your PS5 from a scalper.
Ultimately, sites like StockX will cease to exist if everybody, including those among us with vast sums of disposable cash, refuses to purchase from them.
Do not allow yourself to become part of the problem. We, the people, have the power to correct this without government intervention.