PlayStation 5

MPs move to outlaw scalping

In a move that will come as welcome news to gamers, a group of MPs have tabled an Early Day Motion to make the use of bots to purchase hardware illegal.

Six members of the Scottish National Party tabled the motion on Monday, seeking legislation “prohibiting the resale of gaming consoles and computer components at prices greatly above Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price.”

Should the Early Day Motion be successful, it’s contents will be debated in the House of Commons to draw attention to a particular subject of interest.

So far, the motion has secured the support of 15 Members of Parliament and also calls for the UK Government to make the sale of goods secured by bots an illegal activity.

Stack of PlayStation 5 Consoles

It’s suggested legislation similar to that associated with the resale of tickets be implemented. The motion states: “new releases of gaming consoles and computer components should be available to all customers at no more than the Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price, and not be bought in bulk by the use of automated bots which often circumvent maximum purchase quantities imposed by the retailer”.

The motion goes on to say, that banning bots would “[deny] unscrupulous vendors the chance to make themselves vast profits at the expense of genuine gamers and computer users, while also deterring fraudulent cybercriminal activity.”

According to recent studies, it is estimated that scalpers have generated over £20 million in profit through their unscrupulous actions. According to the analysis conducted by data engineer Michael Driscoll, the average price of an Xbox Series S (MSRP £249) on eBay was $469 (£350). For the more powerful Xbox Series X (MSRP £449), it was $865 (£640); generating over $9 million (£6.6 million) in profits for resellers.

PS5 Digital Edition (MSRP £359.99) had a median selling price of $937 (£695), while PS5 (MSRP £449.99) had a median selling price of $1,021 (£760), generating $19 million (£14.1 million) in profits for resellers.