Seemingly against all odds, both Sony and Microsoft managed to launch new consoles this year with the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, respectively. However, even if you did manage to get your hands on one, you probably noticed this year was something else as not only was stock far more limited than it would be in a ‘regular’ year, scalpers and bots were everywhere in a way that has become very common in purchasing limited materials online anymore. Well, it seems a few politicians from the UK took that to heart.
In a report from VGC, six Scottish National Party MPs in the British Parliament tabled an Early Day Motion for legislation calling for the ban on resales of gaming systems and computer components greatly above MSRP and would effectively ban the use of automated bots to buy bulks of these items (an Early Day Motion is something done by Parliament members to formally call for a debate). The motion has been signed by 15 members total as of last reporting.
While this would not actually ban scalping in and of itself, if you can’t resale an item for a significant amount above retail price, it would make the practice largely pointless, and banning bots buying in bulk would cut down on the ability to scalp as well. Whether this will actually go anywhere, and how you would enforce a law of this manner, however, is up in the air. Of course, these politicians aren’t the only one wanting to do something, as consumers have voiced frustrations, and Phil Spencer has said they are looking into alternative order models after the pre-order issues this go around. If anything comes of this, we’ll keep you updated.