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PS5 stock shortages in the UK continue as scalpers grab thousands of consoles

By Alex Calvin, Tuesday, 24 November 2020 11:50 GMT

If you’re having a hard time finding Sony’s new console on sale, this might be why.

Scalper groups are seemingly partly to blame for the current shortage of PlayStation 5 consoles in the UK.

That’s according to Business Insider, which reports that one such group, called CrepChiefNotify, – which boasts thousands of paying members – has snapped up around 3,500 PS5s using bots. The tech notified users when the consoles were in stock and then allowed them to skip queues or waiting times so they could quickly buy the much sought-after hardware.

On launch, the group managed to snap up 2,472 consoles, on-top of “just under 1,000” pre-orders that were made in September.

These bots aren’t anything new. Scalpers have been using this kind of tech for some time to buy everything from game consoles to clothing from brands like Supreme. Essentially, anything where there is huge demand that can be exploited.

These PlayStation 5 consoles have ended up being sold at frankly absurd prices. At the time of writing, Sony’s new hardware is going for as much as £990 on Ebay.

Recently, Nintendo’s ‘limited release’ Super Mario 3D All Stars was the victim of scalping, while the firm’s Switch and SNES Classic consoles received the same treatment back in 2017.

The PS5 debuted on November 12 before launching in the UK on November 19. The console quickly sold out. Everything you need to know about Sony’s new machine can be found right here.

In our review of the PlayStation 5, editor-in-chief Tom Orry said that the machine truly felt next-gen.

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