Hey y’all, it’s your boy. Today, I come with a public service announcement from your friends at The Root. So take a seat, champ. Today we’re going to discuss why you should probably end the hunt to get the new next-gen consoles.
If you’ve tried to buy a Playstation 5 or Xbox Series X in recent weeks, you’ve likely experienced the following:
You’re waiting for the stock on *insert site* to go live. The top of the hour comes, so you hit refresh on the page and immediately smash that add to cart button. You go to checkout, eagerly waiting for the screen to load only to get hit with that “Sorry, the item you want is out of stock,” when it eventually does.
It’s a soul-crushing experience, folks. Trust me, I know. I caught Ls during the pre-order period, launch day, and during two of the sporadic drops that occurred in the week immediately following launch. Judging by the experiences of my friends and cursory glances at Twitter, I’m going to assume a large chunk of you reading this have experienced it, too.
While demand for the consoles is admittedly high, they aren’t just being scooped up by folks who only want to play Demon’s Souls or Spider-Man: Miles Morales. A large portion of the stock is being acquired by resellers who use automated bots to buy consoles in bulk, only to flip them for almost triple the base price on sites such as eBay and StockX.
A report from NBC News reveals that major retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Gamestop (gross) aren’t unaware of the problem. A representative from Walmart told the news outlet that they blocked “more than 20 million bot attempts within the first 30 minutes of a PS5 sales event” on Nov. 25. While the retailers are doing their best to combat bots, the fact of the matter is they’re always going to be a reality so long as the stock is only online.
Just speaking as someone who loves sneakers, I’ve long accepted the reality that anytime a Nike SB Dunk, Travis Scott Jordan, or an Off-White collab drops, it’s going to be eaten up by bots and sold for stupid amounts on StockX.
The thing that separates consoles from sneakers, though, is the fact that more consoles are going to be manufactured. By design, they aren’t meant to be these rare things people can’t purchase. So if you’re considering buying a console through resale, please, don’t.
Also, let’s just keep it a buck: there is absolutely no compelling reason to own a next-gen console right now. Part of my job is to write about video games and I don’t need a next-gen console at the moment.
If you take a cursory look at game releases for the upcoming year, many of the games announced will also be available on Playstation 4, PC and Xbox One. The first true exclusive I could find is Deathloop for the Playstation 5 and that doesn’t drop until May. We have no set release date for Playstation exclusives God of War: Ragnarok or Horizon: Forbidden West and 343 Industries announced that Halo: Infinite, the game that was supposed to be the Series X’s big launch title, won’t release until next fall.
If you’re getting a new console, it’s really just to run more optimized versions of your current games. If that’s your prerogative, go off; far be it for me to tell you how to spend your money. For those looking for true next-gen experiences, though, you’re honestly better off waiting.
As of now, both the Xbox Series X and the Playstation 5 are being exclusively sold online to avoid crowds at stores. Should the vaccine be rolled out effectively, and the ongoing pandemic brought under control throughout the next year, that’s going to have a ripple effect that will benefit you.
If folks can safely get back to work, that would hopefully speed up some of the supply chain issues that have stemmed from the pandemic. Also, this will hopefully mean that consoles will be sold in stores as crowding becomes less of a concern.
I don’t know about you, but I think my chances of getting a console would go up if I only had to compete with my neighborhood and not the entire country for a Playstation.
The great thing is that by the time all these things hopefully come to pass there should be more worthwhile games to experience on these consoles. So instead of stressing yourself out and setting alerts for when new stock comes, why not just enjoy the twilight period of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One?
There are so many bangers from this generation on sale right now and considering that there really ain’t shit else to do, it’s the perfect time to play them. I just personally think that finding new ways to enjoy what you already have sounds much more rewarding than trying to cop the hot new thing that doesn’t really offer much new.
Besides, it ain’t like any of us can realistically get a console anytime soon.