Even though PlayStation 5 has been out for a whole year, Sony’s console is still very difficult to buy. This is partly due to supply chain problems, and partly due to increased demand – both quite understandable – but the third reason for the shortage is an old problem: Resellers.
To combat the pure capitalists who use bots to snatch all available consoles and then flip them with insane raises, more and more retailers are giving first-dibs on purchases to shoppers who pay for that access. There are no good guys in this situation: the bot buyers are obviously bad, bretailers’ efforts to combat them are almost as bad.
Although there are better actors out there –PlayStation Direct, for example, charging nothing to sign up for the chance to buy a PS5, limiting sales to one console per. person and use your PSN ID to verify – more and more retailers are putting PS5s behind payment walls. Walmart, for example, offers timed exclusive purchases for Walmart Plus members. It costs about $ 100 a year and allows you to shop online Black Friday deals four hours before everyone else, as well as offer free shipping and other benefits. Best buy has released some PlayStation 5 consoles exclusively for Total Tech members, who pay $ 200 a year for technical support and delivery.
Whether these programs are a good deal overall depends on how often you shop in the respective stores, but if you sign up just to buy a PlayStation 5, send the retailer the message that they can make more money by making it harder to buy products instead of easier. And it will not even guarantee a console: You only pay for chance to buy a console, like the craziest lottery in history. Worst of all: It probably won’t stop bot buyers anyway.
Paywalls are almost as bad as bots
It’s back to seen how much these membership schemes will help consumers grab their console-of-choice. I’m sure it will make it more likely, but still: There’s a wealth of organic demand for the console and little supply (if you believe what “they” say), so it’s luck no matter what. Given the absolute batshit branding of PlayStation 5s – the basic console sells for $ 399 and hovers about $ 650 on eBay with lots of bids – it is conceivable that a price point will be reached where it is profitable for bot buyers to sign up for $ 100 memberships all day, even though many of them do not end up being able to buy consoles. It is not the case that the resale price is likely to fall between now and Christmas.
Do not encourage the “clubs” with your money
While signing up for a lot of console payment walls increases the chances of you getting a PS5 this year, will you really be able to see yourself in the mirror after participating in this nonsense? Need to carry around your little Best Buy card and tell yourself that their technical support is worth it all? Maybe put on a shirt that says “another cog in the machine” while you’re at it.
Any increase in club membership profits that can be linked to PlayStation 5 will only become part of the retailer’s profit forecast and encourage them to create / fake a lack of PS.6 in 2029. So you prevent yourself from playing in the future Call of Duty: Tampa, Florida. (it’s happening in 2025 and it ‘is very bad).
Fuck it, just live in the past
While I would never suggest anything as ridiculous as developing hobbies that do not involve deferring money to big companies, I suggest you wait. I do not mean to wait until after Christmas. I mean, wait years.
Imagine meif you had completely ignored all the advances in video game technology that happened after 2006—you would be excited to buy a PlayStation 3 or 4. You can get one super cheap, with all games are super cheap, also … pyes, there are over 2,000 “launch ” titles. If you’re not a hardcore gamer (or your kids are young enough), buy old ones is really a great place to start.
The trick is to live in the virtual past. (Why not take it a step further? Go to the library and read old newspapers on microfiche. Call everything “crunk”. I will elaborate on these important money-saving video game ideas in a series of lectures and slideshows that will tour the country in 2005. Thank you for your patronage.) (But seriously, fuck these paywall clubs.)
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