Even more than one and a half years after its market launch, the new PlayStation is hard to come by. Amazon is now relying on a special sales model to ensure more fairness in the bidding: The PlayStation 5 will only be sold in the US to people who have an invitation link. Other countries are expected to follow.
The problem: Little product, big rush
Sony launched the PlayStation 5 in November 2020. Unlike its predecessors, however, the latest PlayStation was not available in sufficient quantity at any point to satisfy the huge rush. The sales outlets only receive new goods bit by bit, which are usually already sold out within minutes. This is also due to the fact that not only humans, but also bots compete for the hot merchandise. Anyone who can’t check availability 24/7 and react within seconds therefore currently has little chance of snatching up one of the coveted models.
One solution: invitation process à la PlayStation Direct
At PlayStation Direct, Sony’s official PlayStation store, this problem has already been addressed for some time with a waiting list process: Interested parties have to register and express their interest. As soon as new merchandise is available, they are informed in turn.
Amazon now also wants to rely on such a system to give all interested parties the chance to get a device – and to exclude bots. A corresponding test has now been started in the USA. Those interested have to contact Amazon, are put on a waiting list and receive an invitation link as soon as new goods are available and it is their turn. Only via these invitation links can the PlayStation 5 be added to the shopping cart. The invitation links are thereby provided with a transparent expiration date.
Amazon made it clear in the announcement of the aforementioned Prozederes, however, that even with this in all likelihood not all interested parties will receive a product. Thus, it is explicitly pointed out that the company “cannot grant all requests”. Bots, whose activities are recognized by AI, are to be excluded. In addition, the authenticity of interested parties is to be checked, among other things, on the basis of their purchase history and the age of their Amazon account – those who regularly buy from Amazon and have been doing so for longer could have better chances of receiving coveted goods.
However, Amazon seems to be already relatively convinced of the new ordering process. It has already announced plans to expand the invitation system beyond the US. In addition, it will also be used in the future for other particularly sought-after products that are available in rather small quantities. For example, for the Xbox Series X.