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Currys PC World has announced that it will be implementing a lottery system to let customers purchase the PlayStation 5 through random selection, rather than encouraging lots of people to try to buy at the same time.
The PS5 VIP Pass, as it has been termed, asks interested parties to sign up for a priority pass. Then, when the stock is refreshed, successful entrants will find buying codes sent to their email addresses, and these are valid for 72 hours and provide the location of the Currys PC World store where they will pick up their console. Those who weren't selected will remain in the pool of candidates for the next shipment of stock, confirmed the company. Of course, non-essential retailers aren't able to open until April 12th, so people will still be waiting to get their mitts on the PlayStation 5. However, they do have a PlayStation 5 in their name, which is a lot more than other gamers have in their quest to hunt down the supercool console.
Only this month did the PlayStation 5 achieve the title of the fastest-selling console ever in the U.S., knocking the Nintendo Switch from its throne. This seems inconsistent, seeing as the product is as rare as hen's teeth, but Sony has offered an explanation for the scarcity. "It's difficult for us to increase production of the PS5 amid the shortage of semiconductors and other components," said Hiroki Totoki, the company's chief financial officer. "We have not been able to fully meet the high level of demand from customers [but] we continue to do everything in our power to ship as many units as possible to customers who are waiting for a PS5."
Unfortunately, a proportion of those who managed to find a PlayStation 5 aren't against selling them onto new second-hand sites, sometimes for prices as high as £20,000. I mean, it's the dictionary definition of ridiculous. Yet, there is a silver lining in that scalpers likely aren't going to bother with the lottery system set up by Currys PC World. Their approach is to use bots to snap up what limited stock there is and obscure their IP and actual addresses to fly under the radar. This simply won't work with the random selection system, so they're bound to look elsewhere.
This isn't the only retailer that's taking an alternative approach to getting next-gen consoles to their customers. Box, another UK technology retailer, has been selling the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S through a raffle system lately. So, customers who have registered their interest in the products are randomly chosen from the pool of potential candidates, and then are in for a chance to buy. "Box.co.uk have taken the decision to utilise a ballot format so that customers can receive a fair chance to purchase an Xbox Series X, while keeping our website online throughout the process," it said, and added that it circumvents the "enormous amount of strain" placed on the website from the sheer number of people all after one thing. It's savvy, really.
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