Police had to be called to a Japanese store yesterday when mobs of desperate fans tried to buy a PlayStation 5.
Although the staff at Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo implemented a random lottery system - "chuusen" - in an attempt to curb scalpers, whilst trying to distribute the "few hundred" tickets, frantic fans surged forward, shouting and shoving in spite of Tokyo's coronavirus surge and current state of emergency (thanks, Matomebu, via PSU).
Within ten minutes, police officers were at the scene and, eventually, the sale was cancelled. Dave Gibson, who was there at the time, tweeted: "They cancelled the sale due to people being insane!! Pushed so hard even the cash registers and staff went backwards. I've never seen that kind of insanity in japan before..."
They cancelled the sale due to people being insane!! Pushed so hard even the cash registers and staff went backwards. I've never seen that kind of insanity in japan before...— Dave Gibson ?? (@AJapaneseDream) January 30, 2021
Of course, this chaos isn't only confined to Japan. UK retailer Argos was recently in the spotlight for having stock scooped up by scalpers before it was officially placed on sale. A scalping group claimed to have been able to find and access checkout URLs on Argos' website before they were publicly available.
Eurogamer understands the exploit used by the scalping group to buy stock before it was placed on sale has now been addressed and future attempts to use this method will not be successful.
The hunt for PS5 stock - from pre-orders to launch day - has been an almighty nightmare for most. Retailer websites have crumbled under the demand or seen their allocations vanish in a matter of seconds by bots or scalpers. Some have even had consoles stolen, deliveries go missing, or had their console replaced with bricks. It doesn't look like demand is slowing either, so expect these difficulties to stick around for some time yet.
To give yourself a better chance at nabbing a new console, though, give Jelly Deals a follow on Twitter.