PS5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S consoles have been flying off shelves since their release, just over a month ago, but stock levels have become an ongoing issue since then. While demand for next-generation hardware is expected high, the systems have been almost impossible to get hold of, and a large portion of the blame can be placed on scalpers.
Since the release of the next-generation consoles, scalpers, often aided by automated bots, have bought and stockpiled mass amounts of consoles with the intention of selling them on at a much higher price than the manufacturer's recommended retail price (MRRP). This problem affects stock worldwide but this may soon come to an end in the United Kingdom, following government action.
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In response to this widespread scalping, Scottish National Party MP, Douglas Chapman, has tabled an early day motion, which can now be viewed on the UK Parliament (opens in new tab) website, titled: Resale of gaming consoles and computer components purchased by automated bots'.
The early day motion, which in practice draws attention to particular topics of interest, with the intention of provoking further debate, reads:
"...[N]ew releases of gaming consoles and computer components should be available to all customers at no more than the Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price, and not be bought in bulk by the use of automated bots which often circumvent maximum purchase quantities imposed by the retailer..."
Following on from this statement, the motion calls for legislation that would prohibit the resale of consoles and computer components, which have also been plagued by scalping practices, above the MRRP. In addition to this, the motion also calls for legislation that would make the resale of goods, in general, purchased using automated bots an outright illegal practice.
The motion, at the time of writing, has support from over 20 MPs across numerous political parties. However, the impact of this motion, if any, and the speed at which it will be implemented remains to be seen.
While it is unlikely that it will do anything to affect any scalping right now, both Sony and Microsoft are working to release new stock to retailers as quickly as possible in an aid to address stock shortages.
Source: UK Parliament (opens in new tab)