When the PlayStation 5 launched earlier today, there weren’t long lines wrapped around the store. In Japan and internationally, Sony is limiting launch sales to online and preorder pickups.
“The COVID-19 situation makes us very nervous about putting stock into stores around the launch window,” Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, told Nikkei Asia.
According to Kyodo News, Japanese electronics retail chain Nojima Corp. received 100 times the amount of preorders it planned to sell.
Online e-commerce site Mercari has been flooded with listings for digital and the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive versions of the PlayStation 5, with grey market sellers asking as much as $1,377 or more. According to the listings, people are paying for these marked-up consoles.
In the past, when grey market sellers tried to profile on the oh-so-hot Nintendo Switch, retailers tried combating that by having customers line up at the stores and raffle away chances to buy the consoles — a system that was problematic but one that could hopefully deter profiteers. Obviously, with the pandemic, that’s simply not possible.