Scalper bots continue to wreak havoc on next-gen console supplies with Sony, Microsoft and retail partners all working on ways to ensure the consoles get into the hands of actual gamers and not those trying to exploit the supply issues to make a quick buck.
The company is today introducing a Console Purchase Pilot which enables US residents enrolled in the Xbox Insiders Program – which provide a vital role in testing new versions of the console’s operating system before it is released to consumers – to sign up for the chance to buy a next-gen console.
While Microsoft isn’t guaranteeing those people a pre-order for incoming supplies, it will enable them to register their interest in one. Those who do will be selected for a console order when it becomes available. Gamers can see information about the pilot within the Xbox Insider Hub on the Xbox One.
The decision somewhat answers the call from many observers for gamers to join a waiting list for the console with orders only fulfilled to those who can verify they wish to buy the console for their own enjoyment, or as a gift.
“Today we’re introducing the Console Purchase Pilot, allowing US #XboxInsiders on Xbox One to register for a chance to reserve an Xbox Series X|S console,” the company wrote in a tweet from the Xbox Insiders account. “Check the Xbox Insider Hub on Xbox One for details. Limited space is available and not all who register will be selected.”
Analysis – A overdue step in the right direction
All parties involved in the sale of consoles could have done and could be doing more to lessen the scalping issues. eBay and other secondary retailers could have outright banned the practice of selling the consoles above the market rate, but, you know, capitalism. The government could have made the practice illegal. There was talk, but no action. Retailers could have done more to follow up with console purchasers to ensure they were genuine gamers. Microsoft and Sony could have opened sales up to longtime Xbox Live and PS Plus members, with a track record of playing on multiple systems. None of it happened.
Instead it was a free for all. It sucked and continues to suck. Microsoft should have done this in the first place, but it’s a step in the right direction. People shouldn’t have to spend their budget for best Xbox Series X games on lining some opportunistic scumbag’s pockets.