PS5 retail websites crashed due to scalper bots

PS5 console retail box

Scalpers are part of the reason why supply couldn’t meet demand (pic: Sony)

It’s believed that scalpers were able to acquire a large amount of PS5 consoles through bots, which crashed retailers’ websites.

Calling the PlayStation 5’s UK launch messy may be something of an understatement, with retailer GAME and courier Yodel blaming each other for late deliveries.

There was such high demand that the websites for GAME, John Lewis, and Tesco all crashed, and now it’s believed that scalpers abusing the system may have been one of the main reasons so many websites fell down.

According to Thomas Platt, Head of eCommerce at bot detection and mitigation company Netacea, scalpers have been able to acquire multiple consoles by using custom-made bots.

These bots can be used to ensure that scalpers will always be at the front of an online queue. As such, it’s this automated traffic that Platt says is truly responsible for the websites crashing.

‘Since the launch of the last generation of consoles in 2013, scalper bots have become far more available and far more sophisticated.

‘A combination of COVID and Christmas has driven demand through the roof, and anyone looking to make a quick profit can use a bot to make sure they can be first in the queue to buy a console—or several—and then sell them on another site for a high mark-up.

‘It’s not just natural demand that is crashing retailers’ sites today—it’s automated traffic from bots that are buying consoles before genuine customers can do so.’

We’re already seeing the results of this, as new eBay listings have the PS5 being offered at prices as high as £15,000.

The PlayStation 5 is available now.


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