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Here’s how gamers are scoring video consoles during a global shortage

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Having secured a Walmart.com unit, she has helped more than half a dozen local moms secure several video game consoles for their children. He also posts tips on popular Facebook groups, such as “PS5 / XBOX SERIES – RESTOCK,” which has 27,700 members, on how to find them.

“You definitely need intelligence to get a console,” DeSantis told CNN Business. “You can’t do it without it.”

More than a year after its initial releases, Sony’s PlayStation 5 (PS5) and Microsoft’s high-end Xbox offering, the X Series, are still hard to come by. The most recently released Nintendo Switch OLED model, which was launched in October 2021, is even harder to find on the shelves and online. Device reactions run out in minutes and an incident in Harris County, Texas, even caused a attempted armed robbery when a 19-year-old tried to sell his PS5 to a man he met online.
Lack of supply and logistical problems have affected many industries, such as the automobile and consumer electronics, but the gaming industry has been severely affected as it competes with these other sectors for similar parts.

“Supply chain issues affecting other consumer items are even more pronounced for gaming consoles for a number of reasons, such as chip shortages, logistical backups and robots exploiting the imbalance. of supply and demand, “Forrester technology analyst Alla Valente told CNN Business.

Late last year, Sony (CUT DOWN) withdrew its forecast to produce 16 million PS5 units between March 2021 and March 2022, adjusting the number to 15 million units. Nintendo (NTDOY) and Microsoft (MSFT) both warned customers earlier this month that console sales will drop due to a shortage of chips.
In a photo taken on November 12, 2020, a gamer is playing the new Sony Playstation PS5 at his home in Seoul after Sony launched the new console in select markets around the world.

“We will do our best to meet the demand for all of our products, depending on the current situation and any challenges related to shipping and supply chain management,” a Nintendo spokesman told CNN Business. “Our goal is to make enough systems to meet demand, so that we can satisfy as many consumers as possible.”

Similarly, a Microsoft spokesman said that the Xbox Series X | S will continue to be received. “We are working as quickly as possible with our manufacturing and retail partners to accelerate production and shipping to keep up with unprecedented demand,” they said. “We recommend that you check with local retailers for availability.”

Microsoft's Xbox Series X (black) and S (white) game consoles are on display at a flagship SK Telecom store in Seoul on November 10, 2020.

But some buyers like DeSantis are actively looking for alternatives. For example, Microsoft began offering Xbox Series X packages in mid-November to “select fans” who received links through their existing Xbox accounts to purchase the package, which included the console and a game.

Sony has implemented a similar practice where it began sending special invitations by email Accumulates PS5 based on “past interests and PlayStation activities,” according to its website.

Other retailers offer special access to provisions for buyers who join their annual membership services. This includes Walmart + ($ 98), Best Buy Totaltech ($ 199.99), Costco ($ 60) and GameStop PowerUp Pro ($ 14.99).

“Most Walmart + subscriptions are probably just people trying to get the PS5 and then cancel it after getting it,” DeSantis said.

However, signing up for these services does not guarantee that someone will find a console. Bereket Tesfay, 42, of Austin, Texas, is a player who can’t locate a PS 5 even after paying for subscription services.

“I joined Walmart +, Amazon Prime and the GameStop Pro membership so I could have an early opportunity to buy a system, and after a year, I still haven’t got one,” he told CNN Business. “I’ve never seen a console in my life where a year after you go out you can’t go to a store and pick one up.”

A buyer is leaving GameStop with the new Play Station 5 game console during Black Friday on November 27, 2020.

Ameer Assaf, 32, of Flushing, Michigan, runs three different social media pages to help players share tips on product availability. In addition to tweeting updates from his Twitter page, he manages a resupply group on the Discord messaging app and his “PS5 Restock Updates and Alerts” group on Facebook with more than 60,000 followers.

“Some people started playing more video games during the pandemic and were interested in buying or upgrading their existing consoles,” Assaf told CNN Business. “We’re actually seeing a situation where there’s incredibly high demand along with very low supply … The shortage of PS5 has been the worst I’ve seen so far.”

He said scalper robots, which quickly buy items for resale at a higher price, are also hampering average customers this year.

“I am especially excited when my parents send me a message informing me that my group was the reason they will be able to give a console to their child this holiday season,” Assaf said.

Analysts predict that supply chain problems will affect the gaming industry until well into 2022 and possibly 2023. Assaf said he will continue to do his best to help connect consumers with a coveted console.

“From now on, [my] groups will continue to function until scarcity ceases to be a problem, “he said.

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