Gaming News

24 Feb 2021

PS5 and Xbox Series X Scalpers Could Be Criminalised

Despite launching in November, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X consoles are very difficult to find.

The in-demand consoles, already fewer in number due to the difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, are being sold by scalpers online – but Douglas Chapman MP is pushing for a review of the laws, describing the process as "profiteering".

PS5 and Xbox Series X Scalpers Could Be Criminalised

The private member's bill, dubbed the "Gaming Hardware (Automated Purchase and Resale) Bill 2019-21" could see the end of scalper purchases on gaming hardware in a similar way to ticket touting was stamped out some time ago.

While Mr Chapman noted that the bill is unlikely to become law, he did note that the government needs to "take responsibility".

With the consoles generally on sale for around £450, scalpers use bots to purchase a console the instant it goes on sale.

These tools are becoming more and more common, and allow the purchasers to sell the hardware at often two or three times the price.

While the primary example of this is PS5 and Xbox Series S/X consoles, the "Gaming Hardware" part of the bill's title suggests that it could be possible for it to apply to graphics cards as well.

Recently released PC components have seen similar issues with bots and scalpers.

In December, UK retailer Very was able to cancel around 1,000 console pre-orders believed to have been placed by scammers.

At the time, CrepChiefNotify, one of the services used to secure consoles by scalpers, noted that it had "no regrets".

“Lots of our community have been furloughed, made redundant, or at some form of disadvantage due the pandemic,” the statement reads.

“These people have managed to cover their bills, put food on the table and supply Christmas presents to their children."

“It may be unfortunate that a child won’t wake up to a PS5 this Christmas, but another child may have woken up to nothing. We have no regrets.⁠”