Next-Generation Consoles in High Demand

Next-Generation Consoles in High Demand

Ethan Blanks, Staff Writer

After a long eight years, rival console brands Xbox and Playstation have decided to release their next-generation consoles. 

The new PS5 and Xbox Series X boast higher processing power, smoother graphics, and a higher frame rate. Anticipation rose through the roof for the November 10th, 2020, release date on the Xbox as well as the November 12th release date for the PlayStation. As the release dates loomed, Microsoft and Sony were met with production problems. The production was slowed due to a lack of workers and space, which led to the consoles coming out in extremely limited quantities. 

Destinations regarded as the hot spots for picking up almost anything related to video games, such as Walmart, Gamestop, Best Buy, and Target, were swamped with customers looking for the sought-after machinery. Many stores such as Target decided to only release the consoles online to minimize store traffic. Scituate High School senior Aurora Brown works at Target and  said she has “never seen either of the consoles.” She finds many parents and teenagers coming in looking for the consoles, but clearly, they can not get their hands on one. Often having upwards of seven people approach her about the console, Brown said the craze has led to memos being posted on the websites and storefronts of Target. 

Some hopefuls have turned to websites that notify them if the consoles are stocked on any of the major websites. Though these sites may work for some, for many, they do not; in fact, programs or “bots” are used automatically to purchase the consoles at faster speeds than humans. This allows for resellers to control the market, taking the consoles that retail for around $500 dollars and selling them on eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace for $1,000 dollars. This type of reselling upsets average customers. According to SHS junior Daniel Luscombe, “It’s not fair for the average consumer.” Luscombe tried to get the PS5 near the holidays but decided to give up due to the lack of consoles. SHS junior Nolan Jones commented, “I just want to play the new Spider-Man game–the actions of resellers are not moral.” 

In the past, the amount of consoles has been more than enough for the demand–the pandemic is most definitely the cause of Microsoft and Sony’s issues. The companies cannot have the same manpower in the factories. Covid-19 regulations have slowed down the process, from development to production. These factors have a bittersweet effect on the two companies: the consoles that are built are selling fast, and the hype for the consoles is as high as ever. In the long run, the companies may never truly see the effects of the slow release, but consumers will, for sure.