PS5 shoppers rescued! Walmart stops millions of bots in their tracks

Walmart lays out its game plan to kill bots and get the PS5 and Xbox Series X into human hands

PS5 review Sony PlayStation 5
(Image credit: Sony)

Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X are up there with the most coveted of Christmas gifts this year. Thankfully, there’s still good news for anyone looking to score a next-gen console, without fear of bots swiping an order from under your nose. Racing in with a last-minute holiday miracle, Walmart has detailed its bot preventative measures stopping algorithms from claiming the majority of orders. 

Record-breaking online sales are leaving practically all retailers without stock for weeks on end, with supplies likely not recovering until well into next year, according to Sony and Microsoft. These issues are exacerbated by hordes of bots and scalpers claiming the consoles as soon as stock becomes available, with some resellers possessing over a thousand systems each. 

A written statement (opens in new tab) from the retailer details how its in-house tools will stop these scalpers from claiming consoles in the future. Through leveraging and constantly modifying bot detection tools, Walmart claims it has already prevented millions of bots from purchasing items. 

Citing a PS5 restock event on November 25, Walmart states its measures blocked “more than 20 million bot attempts within the first 30 minutes alone”, an impressive number on paper albeit one that it admits is only “a fraction” of what its systems regularly contend with. 

On the bright side, Walmart asserts the vast majority of consoles sold are in the hands of “legitimate customers” instead of resellers or scalpers. This is promising news for the next round of restocks with the retailer promising a new wave of systems coming online soon.

All that being said, bots might not be its only concern. Walmart has been embroiled in recent controversy after a TikTok video indicated employees were buying up PS5 stock before stores opened, leaving frustrated customers in the dark. 

Whilst its statement indicates the tide is turning against bots and scalpers, there is evidently work to be done in maintaining consistency between its messaging and actions. Furthermore, it remains to be seen whether other retailers will indeed join Walmart in “asking lawmakers” to clamp down on bot attacks in the future. 

In the meantime, customers worldwide are waiting with bated breath for specific dates and timings for console restocks. If you’re amongst that crowd, it’s worth keeping an eye on T3’s frequently updated PS5 restock guide and Xbox Series X restock guide