PlayStation 5 consoles have been on sale for one year already and they are still suffering from global stock issues. Some Japanese retailers have been fighting back against resellers in the hopes of getting PS5s into homes.
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In Japan when a popular or rare item releases such as concert tickets it is common that instead of having customers rush to purchase on a first come first serve basis, they allow people to sign up to a lottery where the chance to purchase is chosen at random. However, with the PlayStation 5, the majority of retailers are taking things one step further in an effort to prevent scalpers.
While you can usually sign up for these lotteries at your local convenience store, many retailers such as GEO are forcing potential customers to sign up through the smartphone app. GEO is one of the biggest new and used electronics retailers in Japan and they hope that by making people use their app they can prevent buyers from circumventing their one console per customer policy.
This is a big step for Japanese shops as personal privacy is taken very seriously. Consumers never usually have to give their identities in order to make purchases in stores, so this is a huge step taken, particularly by such a large company, in the fight against reselling the rare current generation console. As the Xbox Series X/S is much less popular in that region the strain on PlayStation stock has been severe.
As spotted by VGC, one Twitter user has posted an image from their local electronics store which shows that it is taking anti-scalping measures even further.
— かーくん (@kaz__kun) October 7, 2021
The sign states that customers who purchase a PS5 in-store will have their name written on both the outside of the box and on the box which holds the DualSense controller. The user was pleased that these measures were introduced as it reminded them of when the NES (known in Japan as the Famicom) was first released. Due to these measures, they were able to get their console.
This move will not be so gladly accepted by all consumers, however. Japan has a large second-hand games market with great value being placed on the condition of the items. Any marks, even on the box, will greatly devalue the items resale price.
In other news, over 7.6 tonnes of fake Pokémon cards were seized at Pudong airport in Shanghai, China as a company tried to export them to the Netherlands.