The latest generation of video game consoles have been a prime example of what happens when high demand collides with low supply numbers, as UK retailer Argos found out this week when it was targeted by PS5 scalper groups.
As reported by IGN, users of the scalping group Express Notify managed to obtain and share links for the limited supply of new PS5 consoles amongst its members, a full day before Argos publically announced the stock refresh to consumers on January 26.
While Argos did react and shut down any rogue links from the loophole that Express Notify had discovered, by then several of the consoles had already been ordered and collected from Argos outlets. Several members of the group posted pictures of their successful purchases, with some users having bought multiple consoles as well. This resulted in there being even less stock available for the official stock drop, with other technical issues only compounding the experience for legitimate customers.
The Argo website was reported to be in a buggy state, while its official app went down for maintenance that morning, or only worked for customers in select regions. Customers were eventually left defeated, frustrated, and without a PS5 console to show for their troubles. Scalpers have been a persistent problem since next-gen consoles launched, with one report estimating that they have made in excess of $82 million in revenue almost a month after the consoles went on sale.
This has had a harmful impact on the next-gen launch, with some analysts suggesting that scalpers have contributed to depressed sales for physical copies of games when compared to previous console generations. If you’re still hoping to snag a new-gen console for yourself, check out our PS5 stock hub to see which retailer have refreshed supplies available.