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PS5 bots could have a tougher time buying consoles: Here's why

PS5 DualSense Controller
(Image credit: Future)

Buying a PS5 is no easy feat and we've known for some time that bots are part of the reason. These scalpers use automated software to spam websites so they can purchase large quantities of consoles and sell them at a premium on resell sites like eBay. 

Retailers have been criticized for failing to prevent bots from buying consoles to make a buck ahead of customers who actually want to use the product. Now stores are reassuring us that measures are in place to reduce this behavior. 

Walmart, in particular, says it was successful in stopping scalpers from snatching consoles before real customers. It claims to have prevented millions of attempts. 

“One bot preventative action we implemented just hours before the PlayStation 5 event on Nov. 25 blocked more than 20 million bot attempts within the first 30 minutes alone,” Jerry Geisler, Walmart’s chief information security officer, wrote in a blog post

Afterward, the company did an audit to surface any suspect purchases, then canceled those confirmed to have been made by bots. As a result, Walmart believes the "vast majority" of next-gen console purchases were made by legitimate customers.  

"Bot scripts are constantly evolving and being re-written, so we’ve built, deployed and are continuously updating our own bot detection tools allowing us to successfully block the vast majority of bots we see," he said.

Geisler said the store has more PS5 and Xbox Series X units arriving soon and that he hopes "others across the retail industry will join us by asking lawmakers to do more to prevent these unwanted bots on retail sites, so customers have equal access to the products they want."  

Even with consoles going into the hands of genuine customers, the gap in supply versus demand means buying a PS5 or Xbox Series X is very challenging. When Best Buy released more consoles yesterday, the website broke before the consoles sold out almost immediately. Ship dates are already beyond Christmas and it looks like the best chance of getting a PS5 won't be until 2021. 

If your attempts to buy the latest consoles haven't been successful, consider bookmarking our PS5 stock updates page, which is regularly updated with the latest sales. 

H/T PC Mag