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There are two sides to the shortage of next-gen consoles gamers are facing right now. First, both Sony and Microsoft are struggling to meet the demand for the consoles that consumers want. Every time stock appears anywhere for either platform, it's only a matter of minutes before the consoles are out of stock once again. The other side to that issue is those who aren't buying for pleasure and are instead buying for profit - scalpers.
Since the release of the Xbox Series Xs and PlayStation 5, we've had to cover the scalper issue at length. Whether it's scalpers bragging on social media about the profits they're making from selling consoles at inflated prices or perhaps about the bots they're using to skip virtual queues, the news about scalpers making life difficult for those who just want to buy consoles has continued.
And now, according to Birmingham Mail, there is a chance Gaming Hardware scalping could become illegal. There has been a Bill sponsored by Douglas Chapman, MP for Dunfermline & West Fife, that is attempting to make console scalping illegal. Currently, the paperwork of this Bill is not yet available, but it's in its second reading stage in the House of Commons.
We have previously reported on this venture, as Chapman appeared on BBC Radio 4 to vent his frustrations. "It's simply not in the consumer's interests to have lots of stock for in-demand, very exciting new products just being bought up en masse," the Scottish National Party MP says. "It doesn't give the ordinary consumer fair access to the market... It's just so unfair for the ordinary person who just wants to play their game or give a gift to their child for Christmas. This situation's just going to get worse and worse."
According to Birmingham Mail's report, Chapman has again been fuming about the scalping issues, telling Sky News, that "it seems to me a total scam." As a result, he's brought forward the Game Hardware (Automated Purchase and Resale) Bill 2019-21. From the title, it seems like it will directly outlaw the usage of bots to purchase gaming hardware before reselling it at a higher price. This, however, would not prevent someone from just reselling consoles they've bought through their own efforts - 'automated' just sounds like bots.
We look forward to hearing more about this Bill as it progresses through parliament. Perhaps it was only through litigation that scalpers were ever going to stop ripping gamers off.
Featured Image Credit: Microsoft / Sony
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