The 2020 Console Launch Disaster


Kenneth Caswell

The Playstation 5 Console

The launch of a new console generation can be exciting for many different reasons, new hardware/software ushers in a huge wave of innovation in the gaming industry. This year the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 released, and while the consoles themselves are both very appealing, they were both plagued by the same huge issue at launch.

COVID-19 concerns led Sony and Microsoft to sell no consoles in stores besides existing pre-orders. This decision is justifiable, in previous years console launches have produced large crowds and that is something retailers and corporations want to avoid.
This new sense of scarcity caused some to be worried, and rightfully they were, the day the PS5 launched, Gamestop, Target, Walmart, and Sony’s own online store all sold out in less than a minute, this caused a lot of confusion but it was soon found out that the consoles were being scalped by bots.

For those who haven’t heard the term, scalping is the act of buying a large amount of a limited stock item and reselling it at a steeply raised price to generate quick profit. The Xbox had a similar problem but not at the same severity as the PS5. There are no laws to prevent this so most people had to continue trying to beat bots that could buy a site’s stock in seconds.

This is an ongoing issue, most retailers are doing little-to-nothing to handle this issue and stock is still very limited for both consoles. Although, Sony and Microsoft have acknowledged this issue and are doing what they can to prevent scalping.

Putting these issues aside, both of these consoles are very powerful in terms of specs and the only glaring difference between them is the hardware. The Xbox Series X was designed with a sleek and contemporary design, while the Playstation 5 went with a more futuristic and experimental design. The Xbox Series X contains the same controller as the Xbox One with minor differences here and there. Playstation on the other hand completely revamped their controller design including features such as Haptic Feedback, Adaptive Triggers, and a built-in microphone.