Shoppers may be battling software bots for new video game consoles

'It's not fair at all,' said one customer looking to buy the new PlayStation 5
Posted at 9:53 PM, Dec 03, 2020

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Two new video game consoles are not just in high demand this holiday season, they're nearly impossible to track down.

Several retailers have decided to sell the new PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X exclusively online.

"Absolutely on the shopping list," said Joseph Mutter, Best Buy customer. "We missed the pre-orders."

Mutter said he has tried tracking down the new next-generation console for weeks but each time new consoles are announced, they sell out within minutes online.

"It was impossible," said Mutter. "We couldn't even get one in the cart to buy it."

Many shoppers are now up against new automated software programs being used by resellers to instantly buy the new consoles as soon as they restock.

"It's not fair at all," said Yarnell Casanova, GameStop customer. "I saw it online. A guy had about 10 or 15 of them."

"They took it and sold it online," said Mutter.

Casanova said it's nearly impossible to compete.

"I'm kind of mad they're letting it happen," said Casanova. "Everybody wants to get it for Christmas, everyone wants to get it for their kids and we can't get them. It's a shame that it's happening."

On the Facebook Marketplace and eBay, there are several listings for the new consoles at double the normal retail price.

Mutter said many parents will have to choose to either pay a premium price or wait until possibly after this holiday.

"I'm willing to wait because what other options do I have," said Mutter. "They're nowhere to be found."

Many big-box retail stores said those wishing to purchase a console should monitor social media and that they often make announcements when popular items restock.